Silver Knights Impressive in Opener
During a pre-season opener, Tyler Consolidated’s new head coach Rick Leach, jokingly said he would like to help make Knight’s basketball great again. On Tuesday, December 5, at Pine Grove, against the Valley Lumberjacks in looked like no joke.
The Silver Knights came out fast and furious and made a statement quick that they are going to be a force to reckon with. A pressure defense that caused nine turnovers in the first two minutes put the Knights up 12-2 with only four minutes off the first quarter clock.
Coach Leach used eight players during the first and continued to sub frequently throughout the game. “I like to keep fresh legs on the floor and with this group we are able to do that and not lose much. I am very happy with the effort these kids put out tonight, they played extremely good defense and our passing was also very good. This is a real athletic. We hit the boards well and put pressure on the ball,” said coach Rick Leach.
After taking an 18-6 first quarter advantage the Knights never let the Lumberjacks back in the game and headed into the locker room with a 38-12 lead. Junior guard Griffin Phillips, opened the second frame with eight straight points off of turnovers and Tyler West added eight in the quarter. West and Dylan Roberts each had five points in the opening frame to give the Knights the jumpstart they were looking for.
The Second half was more of the same as Phillips took over from the start scoring nine points on a jumper and four quick moves to the bucket. Nate Lancaster tossed in six of his eight points on the night in the third frame. Overall the Silver and Black poured in 23 third quarter points to take a commanding lead heading into the final eight.
The Knights hit for 14 in the final eight and came away with a 75-42 victory, that could have been a lot worse. Tyler had nine players dent the scoreboard, with Phillips leading the way with 21, despite playing less than three quarters.
West, at 6’2″ controlled the bankboard with 13 rebounds while also knocking in 14 points, including a three, for a double double. Mark Rucker, finished the night with eight steals and six points plus four assists. Roberts also hit for double digits with 10 markers, while also playing about three quarters. Mark Wilson came off the bench in the secon half and knocked in eight points including a three. Lancaster who finished with eight points, had six rebounds and two assists.
Rounding out the scoring for the Silver Knights was Kyle Mason with four, Luke Daugherty with a bucket, and Steven Ross with two points.
Silver Knights knock of Dragons on the road
Tyler Consolidated won their second game in a row on Friday, with a 64-60 come from behind win over home standing Cameron. The Dragons took advantage of Tyler’s slow start and jumped out to a 13-6 lead at the end of the first period but the Silver Knights behind a three from Dylan Roberts and a basket from Griffin Phillips cut the lead to 13-11 to start the second quarter.
The Dragons still held the lead by seven with less than two minutes on the first half clock when sophomore Mark Rucker went to work and scored seven straight points for the Knights to send the teams into the locker room tied at 26.
The second half started much like the first period for Cameron as they scored six points to take a 32-26 lead before the Knights could get on the board but Tyler Coach Rick Leach’s club came back strong outscoring Cameron 9-2 over the next couple minutes to gain the lead by one 35-34. Both teams battled back and forth before Roberts hit another three to give the Knights the lead for good.
“We started out slow, the first quarter was terrible,” said Knights coach Rick Leach. “We brought in some guys off the bench in the second quarter and they brought us back and got it tied. We were happy being tied and our defense kind of took over in the second half. The third quarter was very good, we are a young team and it’s very early in the season. We made some mistakes and didn’t take care of the basketball the way I wanted to. There are some things we have to work on.”
In the fourth quarter the Knights went up 58-49 behind five straight points from Rucker but Cameron never quit and came back to draw to within four 61-57. However both teams scored three points to close out the game and the Knights came away with the win to improve to 2-0.
Rucker, was the games leading scorer with 20. He was backed by Griffin Phillips who pumped in 16 points, while adding five steals and four rebounds. Roberts finished in double figures with 14, including two long balls. Nate Lancaster gave a good effort with five rebounds, four assists and two points. Tyler West hit for three points and hauled down five rebounds .He also blocked two shots.
Mark Wilson and Steven Ross each added four points and Kyle Mason hit a foul shot. The Silver Knights also won the JV game in a double overtime thriller 65-61. The Knights had three players in double figures led by Quintin Southerly with 21, Nick Gorby with 16 and Gage Huffman with 10.
“We have athletic players right now. I’m not sure how many basketball players we have but we have athletes,” said Leach. “We compete well. We’re going to get better as the season goes on, but right now we’re talking about making better decisions and that’s what we need to do.”