Jersey victory

Jersey's Luke Shively makes a bold move to the basket as teammate Jake Varble looks on. Shively led all scorers with 23 points in the Panthers' 63-56 victory.

Jersey's Luke Shively led all scorers with 23 points to guide the Panthers to a 63-56 win over Southwestern on Friday night in front of a large crowd at Jersey.

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Shively missed the entire football season but has been a key player for the basketball Panthers, returning from the back injury this winter. The win moves Jersey to 7-2 overall; the loss was Southwestern's first in 10 games.

Jersey coach Stote Reeder said the Panthers offense was working much better than some of the previous games.

"We executed and kept moving the ball," he said. "Luke (Shively) was pretty awesome. He is awfuly tough. Every time Southwestern made a run, Luke was there to answer it. He made some big threes down the stretch."

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Jersey improved to 7-2 with the win.

Southwestern coach Jason Darr said it was difficult to lose for the first time, but he was pleased with the Piasa Birds' effort.

"This game was good for us and will make us better," he said. "Shively really shot well for them. Every time we made a run he would pull back with a three-pointer. We were down 17 points in the third quarter and our kids came back. I am proud of our effort. There is so much you can learn from a loss. It was a nice crowd and a good game in Central Illinois. I feel like if we had another three minutes on the clock we would have had a chance to win the game."

Southwestern's Collin Baumgartner led the Piasa Birds with 17 points; 13 in the second half. Teammate Tyler Rose added 17 points.

Reeder praised his three junior starters and the players on the bench for their efforts.

"There is a rivarly between us and Southwestern," Reeder said. "A lot of these kids have played football on the same junior football league team, so they know each other well. I still think our best is to come."

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