FORT BRANCH -- Persistent on defense and patient on offense, Tecumseh basketball men worked Friday night to a 47-30 win at Gibson Southern.
"Defensively we played really well. We mixed and matched on their shooters," Tecumseh Coach Kevin Oxley said after the Braves raised their season record to 11-10, capped their Pocket Athletic Conference schedule at 3-5, and presented him a 324th career win around 309 losses in 27 seasons at what has long been the PAC's smallest school.
They did an eye-opener in holding Gibson Southern to 30 points, a night after Titans senior Dawson Witte scored 31 including eight three-point baskets in a 51-49 double-overtime loss at Tell City.
"You've got to try to get layups, not settle for jump shots," said Gibson Southern Coach Kyle Runyan, whose Titans will try to snap a six-game losing streak when they take records of 4-13 overall and 0-5 in the PAC Friday hence vs. visiting Pike Central.
"We had tired legs after playing at Tell City, getting home late and getting up early to go to classes," said Runyan.
"They probably were a little tired and that may have had something to do with it. But we knew Witte and Aidan Neel are great shooters, and our kids fought hard all night and worked hard to get out on them," Oxley said. "Offensively, we thought we could get the ball to our shooters. And we were able to screen often enough that Woody Brucken could flash inside for shots."
Runyan noted that "Tecumseh shot 4-for-5 on threes early-on."
The Braves, who never trailed, rode a trio of threes by 6-foot-1 senior Larry Arnold to a 17-10 first-quarter lead.
Tied at 17 when 6-4 junior Adam May's two free throws capped Gibson Southern's 7-0 second-quarter start, the Braves went ahead to stay when Brucken hit a layup.
Another Brucken layup capped the 25-20 first half and started a 12-0 run to 35-20 control on his layup with two minutes left the third quarter.
The Titans never again came closer than 13.
Brucken finished with a game-high 17 points, 10 in the first half.
Arnold scored 12.
Five-eleven senior Gavin Oxley, distantly related to his head coach and assistant Kreig Oxley, scored nine on a trio of threes.
Six-foot senior Josh Jagelewski also hit one of his team's nine treys.
Witte, whose second-quarter three marked his only points until the fourth quarter, finished with 10 including a pair of treys. Five-eleven senior guard Andrew Smith scored eight, Neel and May four each.
"When they had the ball they spread us out," Runyan said. "We did a pretty good defensive job the second quarter, but they hit a couple threes. Tecumseh always plays hard.
"At Tell City we played our best game of the season. After getting within a point with a few seconds left the second overtime, our Avery Gick had a shot fall short. We trailed 5-2 after a quarter and later by seven, eight and nine, but our guys fought back. Tell City had the last shots in regulation and the first overtime, but we kept the game going."
The Titans fell despite holding 6-5 senior Braeden Beard, Tell City's career scoring leader, to 14 points.
Below his norm, but he led the Marksmen.
Six-three senior Trent Arnold backed Beard with 12 points including two threes.
May with seven points and Smith with six backed Witte.
The teams were tied at 37 after regulation and at 41 after the first overtime.
------Gibson Southern jayvees won Friday's opener. Freshman Carson Brindle scored 19 points including a trio of threes, and classmate Kaden Hurless 11 as Coach Mark Monroe's jayvee Titans gained their fourth win. Freshman Zachary Kolley led Tecumseh jayvees with 17 including three treys, while sophomore Nick Gallagher's eight included one trey.