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Lions turn back the clock against Shoals
By John P. Mullen
 Saturday night at Jack Butcher Arena was a special one as the Martin County Community Foundation sponsored both a women’s and men’s nostalgia basketball contest between the host Loogootee Lions and the Shoals Jug Rox.  The Martin County affair turned out to be a fun one for all of those involved, and although the player personnel may have suffered through a painful Sunday with muscle aches and joint discomfort, the games themselves were very competitive and exciting to watch.  
In the opener, Shoals got off to a hot start and took a 10-4 lead.  They clung to a 19-17 gap at the intermission and were still one point ahead entering the fourth period.  However, the local gals pulled out the game 42-36.  Leslie Wade VanHoy led the way with 18 points and her sister, Summer, hit a deuce and a trey in the final frame to keep her teammates ahead.  Jayme Jeffers Thompson also hit double figures with 10, including two three-balls in the third quarter.  Kerry Frye Sims nailed a field goal and a big three in the last few minutes while Nikki Wagler Schank also contributed four points.  
Other team members who saw action but did not dent the scorebook included:  Tina Arvin Byrer, Leslie Blake Summers, Amy Swartzentruber Waggner, JoDee Swartzentruber Wagler, Nikki Gee, Jill Strawn Walker, Amy Wagler, and Shelley Strawn Christmas.  Teresa Nolley led the ladies to victory.  
For Shoals, Angie Smith hit four three’s on her way to 18.  Local Melba Montgomery Richardson hit 1-2 at the line in the final stanza as the Lady Lions out-scored their counterparts 14-7 to nab the win.
 Coach Jack Butcher was back on the sidelines and his charges looked good from the get-go with a 29 point second quarter outburst en route to a 43-20 halftime bulge.  What was nearly a 30-point lead in that frame was cut to as close as three points by the Jug Rox before Loogootee made just enough free throws down the stretch to seal the deal 76-69.  
In the first half, Shawn Howell, Bob Butcher, Pat Wagoner, Chris Bateman, and Jeff Bledsoe all drained three-pointers as the hosts hit the bucket for a dozen field goals, including four treys, and one charity toss in the second stanza scoring spree.  
Long-range bomber Travis Brett brought his tribe back from the dead in the third with a deuce and three straight long three’s on his way to a game-high 17.  A strong fourth frame from Mike Archer and 13-15 free throw shooting by the Shoals team overall made the outcome a tense one. However, as was the case during decades gone by, the Lion lead was safe with Butcher’s ball-spread attack sending solid free throw shooters up to the line. In the final few minutes, Kenny Frye stuck 4-5 and Bob Butcher 3-4 to preserve the win.  
For Loogootee, Butcher finished with 16, Jeff Bledsoe 13, Howell 12, Josh Jeffers seven, Rob Blackwell and Chris Bateman five, Pat Wagoner, Will Walker, and Frye four each, and Scott Arthur, Jeff Nonte, and Robert Berry two apiece. Bart Spencer, Larry Hembree, Jeremy Wildman, and Mike Wagoner played fine floor games but did not hit the bucket.    
Jerry Braun of Shoals missed a half-court shot for $10,000 sponsored by Farm Bureau Insurance. He received a consolation prize of $100.