The Commercial-News, Danville, IL

Sports

January 4, 2014

Pierce delivers in the clutch

Fountain Central reaches Bi-County Holiday title game

VEEDERSBURG, Ind. — Fountain Central junior Koby Pierce knew he was struggling with his shot in Friday's Bi-County Holiday Tournament contest against Seeger.

The 6-foot-2 forward was just 2-for-12 from the field and he missed eight straight shots from the first quarter into the fourth quarter.

But none of that matter in the final minute when Pierce was 4-for-4 at the free-throw line, sealing the Mustangs 45-42 victory over the Patriots.

"Coach is always working us in practice, with those situations where we are down and we have to come back,'' said Pierce as Fountain Central (5-2) rallied from a 42-41 deficit to earn its first berth in the Bi-County Holiday Tournament Championship game since 2009. "The biggest thing is keeping focused in a situation like that.''

And how do you keep focused at the free-throw line in a 1-point game?

"You just have do what you can in that moment,'' said Pierce.

But, did you realize that you had missed a few shots during the game?

"Oh yeah, I knew,'' he said. "But I just had to put that behind me. I had to focused on what I do next to help my team.''

According to Fountain Central coach Jason Good, the fact that Pierce was in a pressure-packed situation probably helped.

"He shoots really well when they are big shots,'' Good said. "When they are not big shots, he struggles.

"I think he overthinks it too much.''

Seeger, which had trailed by as much as 12 in the third quarter (24-12), went on a 10-0 run in the fourth quarter to take a 38-33 lead with 4 minutes, 3 seconds left in the contest. Sophomore Borden Kennedy scored eight of his game-high 17 points during that run, including knocking down his only 3-pointers of the game.

"There was no give up in this game. We kept battling and fighting,'' Seeger coach John Collins said. "We got a couple shots to go down, and we got our momentum going a little bit.

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