Knights Drop Madonna
Tyler Consolidated improved to 12-4 on the season with a 74-63 win over Weirton Madonna on Jan. 26 in the New Martinsville Rotary Challenge. The Silver Knights and Blue Dons played tough all through the first three quarters before the Knights took control in the last two minutes to get the victory.
Griffin Phillips had a big game for the Knights with 12 first quarter points and finished as the game’s top scorer with 26. The visiting Blue Dons took a 20-17 first quarter lead before Phillips and company used a strong 18-10 second quarter to go up by five at the break. Phillips scored several times on easy takes to the basket and finished the first half with 14 points. The Silver Knights saw Madonna pull to within four at the end of the third period but came back and put the Dons away in the fourth with a 24-18 quarter, for the 11 point win.
The Knights had four players in double-figures with Mark Rucker backing up Phillips with 21 of his own, including two 3-pointers. Tyler West added 11 points and 14 rebounds, while Gage Huffman hit for 11 markers and ended with six assists. Rucker grabbed nine rebounds, and Phillips had four steals – plus a 6-6 showing from the free throw line. Overall, the Knights canned 22-27 from the line, while Madonna made only 2-5.
The Blue Dons were led by Evan Boniti with 16, while Brennan Secrist and Lucky Pulice each added 15.
Tyler Consolidated Gets Win Over Magnolia
Tyler’s Mark Rucker hit for 20 points, pulled down 13 rebounds and added six steals to lead the Silver Knights to a 72-64 victory over the Magnolia Blue Eagles Jan. 24 in New Martinsville.
Magnolia took control in the first quarter behind eight points from guard Jake Gamble and five from Silas McKeever for a 21-10 lead.
The Silver Knights turned up the heat in the second period, led by Tyler West who hit for eight in the quarter; by the end of the quarter, the Knights had a one-point halftime lead, 28-27.
Magnolia struggled with turnovers in the second period and could only manage six points, while the Silver Knights got several easy buckets off the miscues.
“Magnolia came out and played extremely hard,” Tyler Coach Steven Nutter said.
“I was impressed with (Magnolia coach) Dave Tallman. He really had the boys ready to play.”
“We caused a few turnovers late, and Mark Rucker was really swinging around on the back side and was able to get some steals and get out in transition.
Those transition buckets are what propelled us to the win.”
With the Knights leading by one in the third period went back and forth with each team trading basket – and three lead changes – before Gage Huffman drilled a long three that hit nothing but net, to give the Knights the lead for good.
Tyler closed out the period with two straight buckets to take the quarter, 20-14, and stretch the lead to seven. Rucker hit for seven in the period, while Huffman and Griffin Phillips each added five. Gamble and McKeever each hit for six to keep the Blue in the game.
The last eight minutes was a dandy with the Silver Knights getting a 24-23 advantage. With 3:24 left to play, the visitors took a 16-point lead, but Magnolia came back strong behind nine points from Gamble and eight in the last four minutes by freshman Trevor Williamson, to get to within six with 34 seconds left. McKeever went to the line after getting fouled by Phillips on a 3-point try and canned the first two but missed the third. Rucker cleared the board, and the Knights hit four free throws to round out the scoring.
“I was really proud of our effort,” Tallman said. “We could have folded, but we didn’t. We battled back, and I thought that was great.”
“We know we can still improve in a lot of areas, and we will continue to work on fundamentals of basketball, but we are bridging the gap really well right now.” The Silver Knights had three double figure scorers with Rucker’s 20, while Phillips and West each added 18. Rucker and West each had double-doubles with 13 and 14 rebounds respectively. Phillips added six rebounds and seven steals. Rucker had six steals and Huffman had four steals and five assists. The Knights hit 19-29 free throws with West going 6-7.
“Griffin, Tyler and Mark are the backbone of our team,” Nutter said. “We need all three of them to go. They were all three frustrated (Thursday) because Magnolia did an excellent job of taking them out of the game. Every time they would flash into the high post or run the back sidewell, they got a body on them and made some of our other guys shoot the ball.”
“Give Tyler credit,” Tallman said. “They hit big shots when it mattered. They played our passing lanes well. They are good athletes, and they have a nice team.”
The Blue Eagles’ Jake Gamble led all scorers in the contest with 23 points while adding four steals and four rebounds. Sebastian Stickler pitched in with 16 points and six rebounds. Trent Scheibelhood scored nine and added eight rebounds. Williamson hit for eight and had six assists, while Eli Nice got six points and six rebounds. Chase Glover rounded out the Blue Eagle scoring with two. The Blue Eagles hit 12 of 19 from the line. Magnolia hit 23 field goals, while the Silver Knights hit 22. Both teams hit seven 3-pointers.
Tyler improved to 11-4 on the year, while the Blue Eagles fell to 3-7.