As if the rivalry between ADM and Perry needed any additional fuel, along came Tuesday’s boys basketball battle.
The scoreboard will reflect that ADM improved to 6-2 overall and 4-0 in Raccoon River Conference play with a 78-66 win, but it was the manner in which the victory was achieved that left emotions on the Perry sideline more than a little irritated.
Perry was whistled for 31 fouls — including a pair of technical fouls — while ADM was whistled for 16 total fouls. As would be expected, the result was a 41-18 advantage in free throws attempted in favor of the visitors, who connected on 22 foul shots while Perry hit nine.
Rarely can the whistle be a dominant fixture in a game decided by 12 points, as there are often numerous other factors at play, but Tuesday was the exception to the rule.
Bluejay senior guard Shammond Ivory was called for four fouls in the first half, two of which appeared to stretch belief and which had both the Perry bench and players clearly frustrated.
Already tagged with one foul, Ivory was assessed a technical after apparently exchanging words with several Tiger players. Both teams were guilty of repeated “smack” talk on the floor, but Ivory drew the only technical in the game for taunting.
A 3-pointer from Ivory at the first quarter horn gave Perry a 20-19 lead after one period, but a third foul on the senior and a fourth — whistled just as the second quarter ended for a violation that drew a heated response from an already-agitated Bluejay crowd — meant the standout senior would start the second half one call from being disqualified, which Perry began facing a 35-30 deficit.
The continuing series of baffling whistles quickly put Perry in foul trouble throughout their starting lineup and did ADM little favor as well, as some Tiger players were called for fouls the ADM loyalists present disapproved of.
With neither team quite sure what would draw a whistle, the teams played a close third quarter, with the pivotal moment coming with 1:46 left to play in the period when Ivory was called for a very questionable offensive foul, his fifth. Visibly upset, he was then whistled for a second technical, and a disqualification turned into an ejection, a move which will force the senior to miss Friday’s game at Winterset.
ADM connected on the series of free throws to snatch a 51-38 lead and held a 54-46 edge when the quarter ended.
Perry made several small runs but could not close to within closer than six points down the stretch. At one point in the fourth quarter four of the five Bluejays on the floor were playing with four fouls while only two of the five Tigers on the court had as many as three and none had four.
Tajen Ross led ADM with 21 points, with Payton Conrad hitting four 3-pointers in scoring 15 points while Jacob Hardy added 12. Matthew Larson had nine points, Carter Nordman eight and Jared Sapp four, with Cody Hokel, Cole Knoll and Blake Crannell scoring three points apiece.
Janier Puente had a strong outing for Perry (4-4, 2-2) as the junior finished with 20 points and 12 rebounds while Kyle Nevitt led the way with 23 points. Ivory finished with 12 points while Ryan Rathje provided eight points and eight boards and Alex Long three points and six assists.
Perry visits Winterset Friday, then hosts Roland-Story in a boys/girls varsity set Saturday. The girls game will begin at 1 p.m. with the boys game to follow.
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