TREMONT — If revenge is best served cold, the Tremont boys basketball team doled out a frigid portion of it to Eureka on a sub-zero Tuesday night.
The Turks overcame a slow start and gradually pulled away from the visitors for a convincing 64-45 decision on their home court.
The victory came less than a week after Eureka (17-8) defeated Tremont, 72-59, on the same court during the Heart of Illinois Conference tournament.
Titus Thompson led the Turks (18-7) with 18 points and six boards, while Silas Israel added 11 points and six rebounds.
But the Hornets had the early momentum, jumping out to an 11-2 lead with 4:19 left in the first period after a trey by 6-foot-8 Keegan Zimmerman (23 points, 13 boards).
"I think we got our feet underneath us and started guarding," Tremont coach Troy Schmidt said. "We were maybe a little tight offensively. They beat us here last week, and maybe there was some of that lingering, as far as doubt, possibly.
"But I thought we settled down and we came back on them in that first quarter. Then we had that second quarter when we just kind of took over. We pushed on them a little bit more in the third, and then just kind of walked away."
A 16-2 spurt, capped by a three-point play by Landon Pflederer (seven points, three steals), put the Turks ahead 18-13 with 4:54 left in the first half.
"We had the lead and had some opportunities to extend the lead and to control the game," Eureka coach Tim Meiss said. "We rushed ourselves a little bit and allowed them to get back in the game. Then they started to get their flow in the game, and we struggled a little bit offensively.
"The first time we played, I felt like we controlled a little better, and they didn’t shoot as good. Tonight they rebounded well, and in the second half shot it really well."
The Turks finished with a 33-29 edge on the boards, and were 6-for-9 on treys in the second half.
Tremont led 30-25 at intermission, but opened its lead to 46-31 after Isaac Lennington hit a trey with 3:02 left in the third. The Turks took advantage of six of Eureka’s 22 turnovers in the first five minutes of the second half to extend their lead.
Thompson and Ryan Wagenbach hit 3-pointers early in the fourth period, when the Tremont lead grew to 58-38 with 3:02 left in the game.
"I think our pressure wore on them a little bit, and they were standing up on defense," Schmidt said. "We got some easy looks with our movement. We kept moving and they were standing up and maybe taking a break. We took advantage of that, and had some guys step up and hit some shots."
Johnny Campos can be reached at 686-3214 or at firstname.lastname@example.org. Follow him on Twitter @JohnnyCampos59.