With only one win under their belts for the regular season, the Silver Knight varsity boys basketball team at Tyler Consolidated knew the first round of the Sectional tournament would be a battle.
That they were facing their long time rival, and favorite to win, the Magnolia Blue Eagles, only added to the drama of the game.
The Knights did not take a step backwards on Feb. 28 in New Martinsville though, they trudged on, putting forth their best effort of the year.
While they wound up on the short side of the 40-23 score when all was said and done, the Knights forced the Eagles to play a "slow down" game which hindered the usually high scoring team.
At the end of the first period of play, the Eagles only led by three points, 14-11, which would also be the score at the half as neither team managed to sink a basket in the second quarter.
Magnolia worked their way to the basket more in the second half, outscoring the Silver and taking the long awaited win.
"We started off strong, and did well," said head coach of the Silver Knights, J.C. Kimble.
"It got a little rough there in the middle, but we did what we set out to do, make them play our game and not lose focus."
Sophomore Dylan Romine led all Knight scorers in the game with 12 points. He also brought down two rebounds. Evan Cline scored five points, had two rebounds, two assists, three steals and one blocked shot.
Cole Kocher added four points and had four rebounds and one steal; Dylan Reynolds, two points, three rebounds, one assist; Scott Sole, three assists, one steal; and Darren Heintzman hauled in two rebounds.
The Silver will lose two seniors from the team to graduation in the Spring, Cline and Dalton Wells. Losses which coach Kimble says the team will feel. "They've been right here with the rest of us, all season, and they certainly will be missed."
"But we've got to go on, we've got to work on our game in the off season, make ourselves better and stronger. We've had a pretty rough year, and we have a lot to do before next season rolls around if we want to be competitive. It's up to us."
"There's no question that it has been a tough year for us, but we have some fans who have came out and supported us through it all. We'd like to thank them for being there for us."