Tigers crave consistency on the floor

Wednesday, January 19, 2022
J.J. Felipe airs for a shot during a game at Purdy this season. Kyle Troutman/editor@cassville-democrat.com

Exeter hoops looking to conference, district play

The Exeter boys basketball team has had an up-and-down season, and the Tigers are hoping to play a bit more consistently down the stretch.

Tremayne Williams, Exeter boys hoops coach, said the Tigers (5-9) compete with most teams on their schedule, but playing to potential is not a given.

Nathan Tackett looks for room to put up a shot in a game aginst Southwest at the Southwest Holiday Tournament. Kyle Troutman/editor@cassville-democrat.com

“We have the talent to compete with most teams on our schedule, it just depends on which team shows up for us after the tip,” he said.

The inconsistency was evident on Jan. 7 in a 66-39 loss to Blue Eye on the road.

“At the end of the first quarter, we were up 16-7, then we only scored 2 points in the second quarter and let them score 30 in the third,” Williams said.

Corey Hilburn puts up a shot in a 49-37 loss to Purdy earlier this season. Kyle Troutman/editor@cassville-democrat.com

The Tigers got a rematch of the game on Tuesday, as they are the No. 7 seed in the Spokane Invitational Tournament and took on the No. 2 Bulldogs. The result of the game was not available as of presstime. The winner of the game faces the winner of No. 3 Spokane and No. 6 Cassville.

Williams said going into conference and district play, the Tigers look strong.

“In the conference, I think we are probably middle of the road,” he said. “Thomas Jefferson is one of the favorites to win Class 2 and are really good, then Golden City and Verona currently have winning records above us. We had a 6-point loss to Verona, and that was a game we could have won.”

Zachary Lee hits a 3-pointer for Exeter in a game against Wheaton at the Southwest Tournament. Kyle Troutman/editor@cassville-democrat.com

Williams said the Ozark 7 is stronger than Class 1, District 4, which includes Chadwick, Hurley, Lutie, Niangua and School of the Ozarks. Of those, only Chadwick has a record above .500.

“If we prep for Chadwick, we have a chance,” Williams said. “We match well against all the other teams. We just have to be more consistent on both sides of the ball. Defensively, we have to only allow one shot and then rebound, and offensively, we have to not settle as much, drive more and work our post play.”

Leading the Tigers is senior Corey Hilburn.

“He is our senior and star player you could say,” Williams said. “We rely on him for leadership and to run our offense. Defensively, it’s a team effort, and we continually work to figure out the best scheme for everybody to be locked in.”

The Tigers will play again in the Spokane Tournament on Thursday at 5:30 p.m. if they lost to Blue Eye Tuesday or 8:30 p.m. if they defeated Blue Eye.

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