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Slow start dooms Tigers again

CHILLICOTHE – The IVC Grey Ghosts jumped out to a 22-2 lead after one quarter and, despite a strong second half, the Princeton Tigers were never able to whittle that lead down into single digits in NCIC action Friday night as IVC cruised to a 64-44 win.

Princeton coach Jesse Brandt said the poor starts have been a common occurrence lately.

“Our last two games, we got off to poor starts,” Brandt said. “Not as poor as tonight, but we just lacked energy from the git-go. We weren’t good defensively, and obviously we turned it over way too many times. It was a gut-check at halftime. Our kids came out and played the second half, so I was proud of them there.

“But at this time of year you can’t go two quarters (without playing) and expect to win games. Good effort the second half, but you just can’t play only two quarters.”

The Tigers’ fate was sealed in the first quarter as the Grey Ghosts’ press led to 10 turnovers and tough defense in the halfcourt allowed the Tigers only two points from the free-throw line as IVC opened up a 22-2 lead.

The Tigers showed some signs of life with a 9-2 run early in the second, but the Grey Ghosts quickly responded by closing the quarter out with a 17-2 run to extend their lead to 41-13 at the break.

Princeton came alive at both ends of the court coming out of the locker room after the intermission, but a 17-4 run through the third quarter was only good enough to cut the IVC lead to 45-30 as the game entered its final frame

Despite improved play, the Tigers were never able to get the deficit into single digits, managing to cut it to 11 a couple of times in the fourth. IVC was able to salt the win away as the benches came in late to close the game out.

Austin Johnson led a trio of Grey Ghosts in double figures on the night with his game-high 15 points. Josh Kieffer led the Tigers with 13 points.

8 IVC also took the sophomore contest Friday, by the final score of 55-44.

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