EUREKA - Coming into Tuesday’s game, the Eureka boys’ basketball squad was averaging almost 69 points per outing.
The Hornets scored will below that in a 53-47 Heart of Illinois Conference loss to Tri-Valley.
Things started well for Eureka (7-3, 2-2) who jumped out to an early 5-0 lead. The first six shot attempts were courtesy of Keegan Zimmerman, as he finished with a game-best 21 points.
“We were trying to get other guys to score,” said Hornets’ coach Tim Meiss. “I thought Alex Brittain had a nice game offensively.”
The Vikings (5-3, 2-2) led by as many as nine at 27-18 in the second quarter following a hoop from Jack Moore.
Even though the defense was subpar coupled with the fact they turned the ball over 13 times, Eureka was only down one possession at 28-25 going into halftime after a three-pointer Adam Anderson.
“I do not know. It’s a mystery,” commented Meiss of how the hosts were that close at the break.
Due to T-V’s ability to beat Eureka off the dribble, the Hornets abandoned the man-to-man defense in favor of a 1-3-1 zone.
“I was surprised with that,” said Meiss of the Vikings being able to get into the lane or baseline. “We struggled containing them and their dribble penetration.”
The teams were tied at 37 after three quarters before T-V embarked on a 7-0 flurry to begin the fourth to sprint ahead 44-37.
Starters John Symanski and Braden Zenor each scored 14 points, while Moore also finished in double figures with 10.
Brittain was the only other Eureka players to score in double digits with 11.
For the game, the Hornets committed a season-high 20 turnovers.
“It’s a little bit discouraging when you turn the ball over that much,” Meiss said. “I think we’re better than we showed.”
The 47 points are the lowest output of the season for Eureka.