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Corning takes battle of unbeatens
With 13 wins and nary a loss between them, something was going to give on Tuesday when 8-0 Corning High visited 5-0 Orland in non-league basketball action.
Behind a career-high 19 points by forward Trevor Skousen that was matched by forward Michael Shoemaker, it was Corning adding one to their win column with a 66-50 victory over the Trojans.
"It took a lot of effort because we knew Orland was going to be tough, but we did it with teamwork," said Skousen. "Defensively we knew (Jud) Sailsbery had a dangerous outside shot. We just played together and helped out on Sailsbery."
Corning took a 13-10 first-quarter lead after getting five points from Chayce Maday - including the first of his three 3-pointers - and four apiece from Skousen and Shoemaker.
Sailsbery and Jordan Long both dropped treys for Orland, with Sailsbery hitting a jumper from the top of the key and James Wiseman adding a bucket to keep the Trojans close.
Kavi Ram, Orland's second-leading scorer averaging 19 points per game, was held to just four points before his seven-point fourth quarter.
A rebound basket by Orland's Cade Fountain tied it at 16-16 in the second quarter, but a six-point Corning run followed and the Cardinals went into halftime holding a 24-19 lead.
Consecutive 3-pointers from Long sliced into the lead and made it just 26-25 early in the third quarter, but four points from Cody Long, seven more from Skousen, six by Shoemaker and a Nick Hoag bucket made it 43-38 heading into the fourth quarter.
Corning's size and physical style of play began to wear on the Trojans, and wore them down noticeably in the fourth quarter.
"I thought we had a good gameplan, but we need to be in better shape," said Orland coach Jason Bragg. "We were just gassed."
Strong post play from the Cardinals resulted in nine Shoemaker points and eight more by Hoag in the fourth quarter, with the majority in the paint, as the Cardinals pulled away.
"Hoag and Shoemaker are solid and coached well. (Corning) does a great job of coaching their posts," Bragg said. "We couldn't give them the post. We knew they were going to go there and we couldn't stop it in the fourth quarter."
Corning coach Bill Mache is still looking for more consistency from the Cardinals. "We're still not consistent offensively. We get a flow going in stretches, but then we get away from what's working. We need to keep playing to our strengths."
Of the Trojans, Mache said, "Kavi had a tough job going against our bigger kids. That's a very competitive Orland team and they'll have a great year."
Hoag finished with 13 points and Maday, 11, with Skousen mirroring Maday's trio of treys.
Sailsbery's 16 points paced the Trojans, with Long adding 15 and Ram finishing with 11.
Corning (9-0) is playing in this weekend's Georgia Raczniack Tournament in Colusa, while Orland (5-1) is in tournament play in Anderson.
CONTACT Craig Purcell at 824-1036 or email@example.com.