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Heavy pressure grounds Orioles
Times photo: Mark Nesbitt Argyles Nate Thomas tries to post up a Shullsburg defender during Mondays game. The Miners knocked off the Orioles, 50-42.
ARGYLE - The stifling pressure defense Shullsburg turned to proved to be the Argyle boys basketball team's Achilles' heel in a non-conference game Monday night.

Argyle (0-14, 0-7 Six Rivers East) couldn't hang on to a nine-point halftime lead as Shullsburg switched to a press, which fueled the Miners' 50-42 comeback win over the Orioles.

"We just need to forget about this one and move on to the next one," Argyle coach Kurt Ritschard said. "It's been a rough season. I just keep telling them we will get that win. We just want to get better with every practice and game. If we can continue to get better, we will eventually get that win."

For most of the first half, it looked like the Orioles were on the verge of winning their first game. Argyle senior Kyle Geissbuhler, who scored 12 points, had five of the Orioles' first seven points in the first quarter.

The Orioles used a 15-2 second-quarter run to open up a lead. Argyle junior Nate Thomas, who scored 12 points, scored down low to tie the game at 14 about midway through the period. Argyle junior Ryan Geissbuhler scored after he slashed to the basket to give the Orioles a 17-14 lead. The spurt was highlighted by junior Jared Johnson's jumper and 3-pointer late in the period. Argyle closed the second quarter with a bang when senior Carson Saalsaa drained a 3-pointer to give the Orioles a 25-16 halftime lead.

"We haven't been in the lead at halftime very many times this year," Ritschard said. "The guys were pretty excited. I told them we haven't won anything yet. You have to play it all the way to the fourth quarter."

Ritschard was pleased with how the Orioles attacked the Miners' zone in the first half.

"It's nice to see we had some balance in the first half," he said of the scoring. "It made their zone work harder knowing they all could shoot."

The Orioles were plagued by a tough third quarter. The Miners went on a 14-2 third quarter run after switching to a man-to-man press. The Orioles shot just 2 of 7 in the period and committed six of their 14 turnovers in the third quarter.

"They came out and pressured our guards and gave them fits," Ritschard said. "We had to call multiple timeouts to settle them down. We have some young guards and they will learn."

Despite the struggles shooting and the turnovers, the Orioles trailed just 30-29 entering the fourth quarter. Shullsburg sophomore Nate Carrie hit a 3-pointer with 5:36 to go to give the Miners a 35-31 lead. Thomas scored down low for the Orioles midway through the fourth quarter to cut the Miners' lead to 36-33. That's as close as the Orioles would get. Shullsburg made just 7 of 13 free throws in the final period, but the Miners were able to hang on to win.

Argyle hosts Six Rivers East Conference leader Monticello Thursday.