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SHELLEY - The Shelley Russets overcame a 7 point half time deficit, surging to a 61-51 non conference victory over the Sugar Salem Diggers Tuesday night.
Led by the sheer brilliance of sophomore McKay Cannon who displayed an array of no look passes, long range jumpers and stellar defense, the Russets dominated the second half of what had been a close contest.
"We talked at half time about the good things that we were doing," said Coach Dave Hadley. "We had been taking good shots that didn't fall, and we just stepped up the defense a bit and that seemed to throw Sugar out of rhythm and their comfort zone."
The Russets began the game slowly, only hitting two buckets from the field in the first quarter and three buckets in the second period. They did hit nine of thirteen free throws in the first half which kept them in the game as the Diggers were hitting from long range and forcing the Russets into foul trouble as both Chad Cather and Chad Leckington went to the bench with a pair of early fouls.
"We got into a little bit of foul trouble early," said Coach Hadley. "We got a big lift from Christian Mendoza and Derek Wilson, who came in and played with great energy and played with confidence."
Mendoza hit a quick bucket and added three free throws in the second quarter which kept the Russets within striking distance of the Diggers.
"Coach showed great confidence in me tonight and I just tried to do what he told me to," said junior Christian Mendoza. "I wanted to make sure that I got good position inside and made myself available for passes from Leckington and Cannon and tried to put the ball in the basket."