Du Quoin boys basketball Indians drop to last in conference after loss at Anna-Jonesboro
Du Quoin boys basketball
Indians drop to last in conference after loss at A-J
By Geary Deniston
With the holidays over the Du Quoin boys basketball team got back to business with a chance to pick up a conference road win against a struggling Anna-Jonesboro squad, but the Indians offense struggled in a 38-23 loss Friday night.
"We are just having a hard time scoring," said Du Quoin coach Jason James. "We have to do a better job of attacking the gaps in a zone and our posts have to do a better job of sealing their guy off in the post."
Du Quoin (6-9, 1-3 Mississippi) lost its third straight game to drop into a tie for last in the River-to-River Mississippi Division. Anna-Jonesboro, which had lost three in a row and seven of its last eight games, picked up its first conference win to improve to 1-3 and 5-10 overall.
The Indians had a good first half and held a 13-9 lead at halftime. With the score tied 7-7 after the first quarter the Du Quoin defense held Anna-Jonesboro to just two points in the second quarter. Blake Pena was the Wildcats leading scorer in the first half with six points in the first quarter and the only basket in the second. Pena scored 11 points in the second half to finish with a game-high 19 points.
Braeden Pursell and Wade Roberson kept the Indians in the ballgame in the first half. After being held scoreless in the first quarter Roberson scored four points in the second while scored three points in the first and added a basket in the second for the two to account for nine of the Indians 13 first half points.
After being held to just nine points in the first 16 minutes Anna-Jonesboro came out of intermission a different team, scoring 13 points in the third quarter alone while Du Quoin was held to six points to fall behind 22-19 heading into the fourth quarter.
The Wildcats finished strong with 16 points in the fourth quarter while the Indians' offense continued to struggle with only four points in the final eight minutes to finish with a season low 23 points.
Pursell led the Indians with eight points followed by Roberson and Kadin Mays with five points each; Traijon Smith had three and Jaden Smith two.
"We have to be committed to doing what we are wanting to do and we are just not there," James said. "We are going to continue to work and we will get there."
• This week Du Quoin hosts conference leader Nashville (4-0 Mississippi) on Friday before hitting the road to team with the Rangerettes to play a girls/boys doubleheader against nonconference foe Trico Saturday.