SPRING VALLEY - The Princeton Tigers lost to hot-shooting Stillman Valley 60-47 in its Colmone Classic opener Saturday at Hall High School.
The Cardinals made seven 3-pointers in the first half alone en route to a 35-25 halftime lead, finishing with 10 treys (10-37) on the day.
PHS coach Jason Smith said it was a disappointing start to the tournament.
“If you’re not expecting to win, then why are you in this to do it,” he said. “Any time you have a loss, it’s never expected and it’s always disappointing when you have a loss. Some losses are better than others, but it’s never a good loss.”
Teegan Davis led Princeton (1-5) with 15 points with Grady Thompson adding nine and Mack Williams eight.
Evan Davidson (19 points) and David Wilhite (12 points) made three treys each, combining for 31 points, to lead the Cardinals to victory.
The Tigers and Cardinals played to a 17-all tie after one quarter of play and a layup by Thompson with a little more than six minutes left in the second quarter tied the game up again at 19.
The Cardinals took flight with a 10-0 run to take a 29-19 lead, including a pair of treys by Brett Pierce. Davidson and Wilhite each knocked down a 3-pointer as the Cardinals seized a 35-25 halftime lead.
The Tigers knew what was coming, but Smith said they didn’t do a good job on their close-outs defensively.
“We’ve got to be more passionate and fundamentally sound on the defensive end. We’ll get back to work Monday in practice,” Smith said.
Princeton cut the Stillman Valley lead in half to 42-37 in the third quarter. Williams converted two free throws and scored on a putback and a post move and Ryan Brucker capped the Tigers’ charge with a drive.
A spin move by Thompson closed the quarter out with the Cardinals leading 45-39.
Thompson gave the Tigers a last gasp with a 3-pointer with 4:25 left to play to draw PHS within 52-45. The Cardinals outscored the Tigers 8-2 the rest of the way, capped by a dunk by 6-5 center Alex Rahn on an inbounds play to make it 60-47.
“I thought the second half we played better. The intensity is no where we need it to be,” Smith said
Tiger tales: The Tigers were without starters Jackson Dressler and Kaden Monroe Saturday as well as senior Braden Scaggs, who all were out with apparent injuries. ... The PHS sophomores won both of their games Saturday, defeating Stillman Valley 70-56 and St. Bede 56-45. They will play Rock Falls in Friday’s semifinals at 6:30 p.m. ... The PHS varsity will return to tournament action at 6:30 p.m. Tuesday against St. Bede, which will be playing its first game in the tournament.