By Steve Robinson | January 21, 2008 - 10:42 pm
Posted in Category: Flanagan, Pekin Daily Times, Tremont

BasketballBLOOMINGTON – As top seed at the 98th Annual McLean County Tournament, the Tremont Turks are fully aware they are – but can’t afford to play like – marked men.

Knowing the bullseye was on their backs, the Turks came into Monday’s semi-final against 10-11 Flanagan playing a cautious first quarter on their way to a 49-32 win over the ninth seeded Falcons at the Shirk Center on the Illinois Wesleyan campus.

Jumping out to a fast 5-0 lead on baskets by senior guard Todd Cantrell and junior guard Matt Workman, along with a free throw by junior forward Matt Draear pushed Tremont (15-4) into a fast 5-0 lead.

FlanaganAlthough Flanagan caught up on baskets by junior guard Patrick Kelly and senior forward Alex Detwiler, and a free throw from senior forward Lucas Folkerts, tying the game at 5-all at the 2:30 mark in the quarter, a trey by Cantrell at the 1:17 mark helped Tremont go in front, 8-5 on their way to the 10-9 lead they owned going into the second quarter.

Tremont owned an 18-11 lead at one point in the second quarter before baskets by Detwiler, senior forward Dan Jones, and sophomore guard Drew Duffy allowed the Falcons to pull within three, 18-15, at halftime.

Tremont stayed in front on the strength of back-to-back baskets by senior guard Jeremy Pflederer, increasing Tremont’s lead to 22-18 with 5:45 in the third quarter, on his way to scoring a game-high 16 points.

The Turks owned a 29-26 lead going into the fourth quarter, and put victory out of Flanagan’s reach on the strength of a 9-0 march in the last quarter, led by baskets from Jeremy Pflederer and sophomore forward Steven Szetela. Szetela.

TremontTurks head coach Ron Martin said he was “a lot happier” with his team’s performance Monday, having been disappointed by the Turks loss on Friday night.

“Our pressure kind of wore Flanagan down in the fourth quarter. That’s when we got some easy looks and we finally made some layups,” Martin said.

“(The kids) were a little nervous coming into here because they had the number one bullseye on their backs coming into here,” Martin said. “I thought they responded well.”

“We looked like we played on our heels all night,” said Flanagan head coach John Hughs. “Against good teams (like Tremont), if you’re not willing to do the little things and execute right all the time, they’re going to take advantage of that.”

The Turks will square off in the tourney semi-final against Downs Tri-Valley Friday night, beginning with a 6:30p.m. tip-off. The fifth seeded Vikings upset fourth seed Ridgeview, 59-43 in the other quarterfinal on Monday here.