Foul trouble hurts THS in sub-regionals

Published 2:12 pm Thursday, February 15, 2018

Fouls and free throws were major concerns for the Thorsby boys basketball team during a 63-46 loss to Keith in the class 2A sub-regionals on Feb. 13.

The Rebels struggled to convert at the charity stripe and missed 16 free throws in the game, some of which were front ends of a one-and-one.

As a result, several points were left on the floor instead of adding to Thorsby’s total on the scoreboard.

“You just can’t leave opportunities like that,” Thorsby head coach Tim Fortner said.

Another factor that played a role in the outcome was Christian Fortner, Thorsby’s leading scorer, fouling out of the game midway through the third quarter.

The absence of Fortner disrupted the Rebels’ rhythm, and from that point on the momentum of the game began to swing in Keith’s favor.

It was not something that Thorsby was accustomed to dealing with, as Fortner and the Rebels did a good job as a team throughout the season of playing under control on both ends of the court and not fouling out.

However, Fortner picked up a couple of fouls to start the game, and foul trouble quickly became a concern.

Despite the foul situation, Thorsby led by seven points at halftime and appeared to be playing its brand of basketball and in good shape.

However, the Rebels lead shrunk to one heading into the fourth quarter.

Keith eventually built a lead in the final quarter and was able to extend it for good after Thorsby went into fouling mode in an attempt to prolong the game in hopes of a comeback.

“The two seniors [Cain Niece and Chase Merrell] were pretty upset, but they worked hard and did the best that they could all year long,” Fortner said. “That’s why you’ve got to enjoy it as much as you can, because it’s going to come to an end for everybody. We’ll miss them.”

Fortner led the Rebels with 14 points, five blocks and four assists, while senior Cain Niece added 12 points. Sawyer Sellers grabbed eight rebounds.