EUREKA – With less than three weeks remaining, the boys’ portion of the Heart of Illinois Conference race still up for grabs.
Two contenders met Tuesday night, which saw Tremont come out blazing from distance in a 65-46 victory over Eureka.
Tremont (18-7, 9-3), who came in averaging 62 points per game, made four of seven three-pointers, to open a 20-6 lead after the first quarter.
Eureka (11-10, 6-4) picked up triples from Adam Anderson and Keegan Zimmerman to get within 32-23 late in the half.
The Turks ended up seven of 12 behind the arc over the opening 16 minutes, as a Titus Thompson trey gave them a 37-23 advantage at intermission. On the game, Tremont sank of nine of 21 from three-point range, as five different players made at least one.
“We wanted to try to do that,” said Eureka coach Tim Meiss of attempting to make the Turks fire up twos and not threes. “I thought they shot the ball well. We were more concerned about the penetration than the three. It’s hard to fall behind them. They can score from a lot of spots.”
The Hornets never got the deficit under 12. They got out of the gates slowly, as Eureka made just two of their first 11 field attempts.
While Tremont is mostly a man-to-man team, they threw in a little 1-3-1 zone defense.
“They did that and 2-3 zone out of bounds,” Meiss pointed out. “We did not have too many problems with the 1-3-1. Our biggest problem was the man.”
Eureka finished 19 of 49 shooting from the floor for 39 percent, while the Turks were 24 of 50 for 48 percent.
Six-foot-six pivot Luke Barrow sank a trio of threes and finished with 15 points. Thompson added 13 and Jaydon Kellum contributed 10 off the bench.
The Hornets received 11 points from Zimmerman and 10 from Keith Walder.
Entering the game, the two squads were among six in the HOIC separated by a mere one and a half games.
“We had an opportunity,” Meiss said. “Now, it hurts because we’re two games out of the hunt.”