PRINCETON — The IVC Grey Ghosts turned up the throttle Friday night at Prouty Gymnasium and the Princeton Tigers couldn’t quite catch up.
Utilizing an uptempo game, the Grey Ghosts sped past the Tigers to the tune of a 68-49 victory in NCIC play.
“They got us playing a little faster than we wanted to,” PHS coach Jesse Brandt said. “We did a decent job against the press, but when we got into the halfcourt, we went after it a little too quick. They tried to speed us and it worked. We didn’t execute in the halfcourt set.”
The Tigers did their best to stay within shouting distance. Down 10 at halftime at 33-23, bigs Austin Mack and Cole Evenson hooped early in the third quarter to make it 35-27. A layup by Zach Stroud and a drive by Evenson pulled the Tigers within 39-33. A three-pointer by Josh Kieffer made it 43-36 with 12 seconds left, but the Ghosts answered to take a 45-36 lead into the fourth quarter.
Stroud opened the fourth quarter with a trey to trim the Tigers’ deficit to 45-39, but that was as close as PHS would get the rest of the way. IVC used a 7-0 run to go up 52-39 and was never threatened again.
“We battled back a few different times. (We) had it to six, get three of four stops in a row but didn’t executed at the offensive end at that point,” Brandt said. “We battled to the end, just didn’t have it down the stretch.”
Stroud (11) and Evenson (10) combined for 21 points for the Tigers (5-16, 0-2). Austen Stewart added eight points.
IVC was led by Sam Reuter (18), Reilly Owens (15) and Austin Johnson (11).
Tiger tales: The PHS sophs won 55-50 behind Garrett Duffin’s 22 points. He hit a three-pointer to break a 50-50 with 2 1/2 minutes left and passed to Zach Kenny out in front of the break to make it 55-50. PHS will travel to IVC on Feb. 8 for the last meeting between the NCIC rivals. They will not continue to play in nonconference when PHS makes the move to the Three Rivers. ... The Tigers return to home Tuesday night to face future Three Rivers foe Sherrard.