Burton Christmas Classic Scores Big on Boards
Paden City held its annual Bob and Sharon Burton Christmas Boys Basketball Classic on Friday and Saturday nights.
Two games were played each evening with Tyler Consolidated and Clay Battelle starting the tournament. Clay Battelle with its big man, 6-5 Jarrett Hockenberry, controlling the boards and scoring outside and down low, took a commanding first half lead. Pressure defense and size advantage saw the C.B.’s go up late in the third quarter by 40-23 before Coach Bob Jones called for a Silver Knights timeout.
The Knights then went on a mini-run to close the gap to 11, entering the fourth quarter. From there on it was all Tyler, as the Knights tightened up the defense and started knocking down some shots.
Freshman Griffin Phillips came up big, hitting a three and collaring several rebounds while also helping get the ball up court. Jace Reed and Dylan Reynolds also hit back-to-back buckets to give the Knights their first lead of the game with four minutes left, and they held on for a 54-47 victory to move on to the championship game on Saturday. Reed scored 19 on the night while Roberts hit for 11 and Phillips and Trent Smith each knocked down eight. The second game of the night saw more of the same as Paden City had to overcome an 11-point deficit in the fourth quarter to move on to Saturday’s championship match with the Silver Knights. After a back- and-fourth first half that saw the Cats hold a 33-30 halftime lead the Lumberjacks came out in the third period and outscored Paden City19-4 for a two-point edge entering the fourth frame. Paden City, however, turned up the pressure with a 1-3-1 defense that forced Valley into several turnovers and some easy buckets.
Fred King’s club went on a 24-5 run in the fourth and came away with a 62-54 win. Senior center Luke Cooper had a big night for Paden City as he hit for 22, including four 3-balls. Zach Yeater pumped in12 and Hayden Hizer added 10. Trey Streets led the Lumberjacks with12 and Tucker Cain hit for 10 to lead Valley.
“I’m very proud of this team, when you have new kids and new positions it’s like Forrest Gump. It’s like a box of chocolates. I’m very happy how we did this, we were able to overcome adversity. We changed things up on defense and got them out of their comfort zone, it was a good win for us, we shot poorly at the line but that will improve. This was our first outing and they already had two under their belt, I feel good about this win,” said Coach King.
Saturday night’s consolation game saw Valley and Clay Battelle lock horns in the first game of the evening.
Valley jumped out quick in the first quarter behind excellent shooting and rebounding. After one period it was 18-4 in Valley’s favor. Things never got much better for Clay Battelle in period two as the Lumberjacks outscored the C.B.’s 23-10 for a 41-14 halftime advantage. The second half saw both teams playing even with Valley pumping in 34 to Clay Battelle’s 28 to come away with the big win 75-42.
Trey Streets knocked down four long balls and finished the night with 14. Tucker Cain was the game’s top scorer, however, with 23 markers, while also collecting nine boards and three steals. Joey Preat added 12 points to the cause and Dylan Irvin hit for 13 and 11 boards. Clay Battelle was led by Jarrett Hockenberry with 21. Valley’s Cain and Irvin made the All-Tournament team along with Clay Battelle’s Hockenberry.
The championship battle Saturday saw Tyler Consolidated taking on three-time champion Paden City in what turned out to be a game which could have gone either way.
With Tyler hitting the boards hard and pressuring Paden City, the Silver Knights came away with a 16-13 lead after one. The Cats, however, outscored the Silver Knights 15-9 in the second and led by three at the break. Paden City stretched the lead to eight at the end of three but the Knights continued to battle back and closed the gap to one late in the quarter. Paden City put it away at the foul line for a 53-47 championship win.
Zach Yeater led Paden City in scoring hitting for 17, including four from long range. Aaron Heasley and Cooper both contributed 11, while Logan Carroll hit for eight and had 12 rebounds. Leading the Silver Knights in scoring was Jace Reed with 17 while Dylan Robert and Nate Lancaster each knocked down seven.
“We had some chances but remember we are a young team. Sometimes I have two freshmen and sophomores playing. We started out slow in all of our games so far but once we get going we have been in every game. I’m proud of our boys effort,” said Silver Knights coach Bob Jones. Making the all-tournament team from Tyler Consolidated was Jace Reed and Dylan Roberts. Paden City landed three on the team with Luke Cooper, Hayden Hizer and Zach Yeater all being chosen.
King said it was a good tournament with four quality teams.
“We work had at putting on a quality event each year in honor of Bob and Sharon Burton. Coach Burton led this school to two state championships and had several 20-win seasons. This gym is named in his honor. I want to thank every one who helped make this tournament possible and we hope to continue it for years to come,” said Coach King.