TCHS Wins Region 1, Section 2 Championship
Tyler Consolidated is one game away from the state tournament in Charleston, after winning the Section 1, Region 2 basketball game championship against St. Marys on Friday. The final score stood at 56-51.This is the first time in 11 years that Tyler has been sectional champs in boys basketball.
The Blue Devils, who seemed to be outmanned, played hard and physical, but in the end it was the depth and physicality of the Silver Knights that kept the visitors at bay. Four Knights hit in double figures and two ended with double doubles to lift Tyler Consolidated to victory. Senior guard Dylan Roberts led the team with 14 points, while also adding four assists, and it was a deep three from him late in the game that quelled a big run by St. Marys.
“Our main goal all year has been to get the winning attitude back to Tyler Consolidated,” said coach Rick Leach. I think we have done that and made it even bigger than what it was supposed to be. We didn’t play very well in the first half. We fumbled the ball, because I think we were trying too hard and didn’t take care of it the way we normally do. It was frustrating, really; we were up seven at halftime and I felt like we were down. Give St. Marys credit. They outscrapped us, and Coach Barnhart had them ready. They played hard.”
Up by seven at the half, and hoping to increase the lead in the second half, the game turned into anyone’s contest. The Knights continued to play hard, but the scrappy Blue Devils kept finding ways to stay in the game and at the end of three it was still a seven point contest. The fourth quarter was another back and forth affair with St. Marys winning the frame, 24-22, on the heels of 13 points from Evan Lamp, including three long and extra high three-pointers. The Knights, however, got 20 of their 22 points from Roberts (8), Phillips (7) and Rucker (5) in the quarter to get the win and advance to play Cameron tonight for a trip to Charleston on the line.
Tyler West, who came up big in the first half with 10 points, was held to only two in the second, but it was a big one with the Knights only up by three. He took a sweet pass of a drive from Phillips and layed it in to push the game back to five with under two minutes to play. He also ended with a big night on the boards, hauling in 14 rebounds for another double double. Rucker ended with 13 points and 11 rebounds, while Phillips finished with 11 points, five steals and six rebounds. Nate Lancaster added four points and four rebounds, while Steven Ross and Mark Wilson each hit a free throw. The Knights hit on 15-26 free throws, while St. Marys made 17-25; however the Knights outgunned the Blue Devils, making 18 field goals to St. Marys 14.
The Silver Knights will play Cameron tonight at 7 p.m. The teams split their regular season with each winning on the others floor.
Knights Advance In Sectional Play
Tyler Consolidated and Ritchie County split during the regular season, but on Feb. 27 at home, the Silver Knights jumped on the Rebels 14-1 in the first quarter on their way to a 56-44 victory in a Region 1, Section 2, basketball game, to advance to the championship game on Friday night against the St. Marys Blue Devils.
The Knights drew first blood on a early tip-in by Tyler West to go up 2-0. On their next possession they got an easy layin from Griffin Phillips to a 4-0 lead and it looked like a rout was on. Two quick steals by the Knights and two more buckets – one by West and another by Mark Rucker – followed by a pair of free throws by Phillips, sent the home team up 10-0 forcing a Ritchie timeout.
The Rebels hit 1-2 free throws for their only point of the frame, and Rucker closed the quarter with a bucket for the 13 point lead. The Silver Knights finished the first quarter forcing seven turnovers and grabbing 10 rebounds to Ritchie’s four.
The second quarter started out on the side of Ritchie as they hit the first four points but the Knights came right back with a basket from Rucker and Dylan Roberts to maintain the lead at the break. 24-11.
The Rebels came out on fire after the break and outscored the Knights 18-12 to cut the lead to seven, but the Silver Knights took the last quarter, 20-19, to get the eight point win. Ritchie cut the lead to two late in the game, but the Knights went on a five point roll in 35 seconds to stretch it back to seven, and the visitors had to foul to try and play catch up.
“We played a great first quarter and then we let up a little the rest of the way. We have to put together four straight quarters if we want to keep playing. Rucker made some big plays for us tonight and our defense forced 14 turnovers. West grabbed 17 rebounds and dominated under the boards. Our ability to use 8-9 players and keep fresh legs in the game is a big factor. We also have several kids who can score , so it makes it tough to stop us. I am seeing good things from everyone we’re using, it’s a total team effort, “said coach Rick Leach.
Tyler had three players in double figures with Rucker leading the way scoring 18, including a 4-5 showing from the line in the last quarter. West added 14 points but his play around the boards was dominating as he blocked two shots and collared a huge 17 rebounds. Phillips added 15 points but also controlled the offense and ended with four steals to go along with four assists. He went to the line nine times making seven. Dylan Roberts hit two baskets and a free throw for five points while Nate Lancaster and Kyle Mason each got a bucket. Roberts finished with four assists and Lancaster grabbed six rebounds.
“Give Ritchie credit,.” Knights coach Rick Leach said. “They made four three pointers in the second half which adds up. They got close, but we didn’t let them catch up. That was the key, to keep the lead. We got guys who are learning how to win. I can see some things in their eyes, they’re not used to that pressure but they responded. We kept them at bay and did things we needed to do.”