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David Edole

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Terry received special attention - Mar 6, 2019

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For Champaign Central High School to pull off an upset over third-ranked Southeast, it needed Khailieo Terry to be a big-time player.

The Spartans' defense didn't let that happen.

Terry, averaging 18.3 points and 6.4 rebounds per game, was limited to just eight points Tuesday night as the Spartans chalked up a 44-31 win in the Class 3A Southeast Sectional semifinals at Herb Scheffler Gymnasium.

Southeast (29-2) got Terry into a bit of foul trouble in the first half when the 6-foot-3 muscular sophomore picked up his second foul with 3.7 seconds left in the first period. He had two points at the half and finished the game 3-for-6 from the field, including going 2-for-5 from the free throw line.

Pushing Terry away from his spots let the Spartans play their style of ball, getting into passing lanes and forcing Champaign Central into 21 turnovers.

'It was part of the game plan tonight to not let (Terry) in the paint and do what he does best, and that's finish,' said Southeast forward Michael Tyler, who finished with five blocks. 'We didn't want him to be a finisher tonight.'

And when Tyler was told that Terry averaged 18.3 points, he took a step back in astonishment.

'When it's somebody big like that, you've always got to have front to post and have backside help,' Tyler said. 'We stayed with our fundamentals and that's what got us through this one.'

The Spartans threw several players at Terry, including forward Devin Blue-Robinson, and at one time, point guard Terrion Murdix. There were three players on Terry in a full-court press when Southeast forced a turnover and started to pull away in opening up a 16-point lead late in the third quarter. The Maroons had 19 miscues through three periods.

'Not letting him get putbacks, and not letting him just do what he wants,' said Blue-Robinson when asked what was the key to stopping Terry. 'He's their key player. We tried to get him out of the way as much as possible, and it actually showed on the scoreboard. Getting him into foul trouble in the beginning of the game, that was huge. He wasn't out there to rebound and help his team out.'

Terry finished with seven rebounds and four fouls. Pryce Punkay led Champaign Central with 15 points, all coming on five 3-pointers.

'He had a special night. He couldn't do it by himself,' Blue-Robinson said of Punkay. 'We were on everybody else, and he hit a couple.'

That meant Terry became just a facilitator for the Maroons, who finished the season 17-13.

'We ask him to do a lot of things, and he's (Terry) been great this year,' said Central coach Jeff Finke. 'They sagged off and played zone on him, so it made it difficult for him to get to the paint and finish. We knew that was what they were going to do, watching them the way they played EJ Liddell in how they held him down at Belleville West (in a 74-73 Southeast loss on Jan. 26).'

Southeast coach Lawrence Thomas praised his team's defense against Terry.

'We made it difficult for him,' Thomas said. 'A lot of times he was catching the ball way away from the basket which helps us out, because I don't think that's the strong part of his game. We were making it tough for him to get it where he likes to get it at, around the block area from the free throw line in. That was a great job as far as our kids. We were well-aware of him.'

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