TC Loses Battle of Knights
The Tyler Consolidated Boys Basketball team started the season with one major goal, to make a return trip to the state basketball tournament in Charleston. Unfortunately, the Silver Knights fell one win short on Thursday night, in the West Virginia Region co-final game, as the defending state champion Maroon Knights of Wheeling Central routed them 88-58 on the Wheeling floor.
Despite a quick start, mostly by senior Griffin Phillips, trouble was on the horizon. Down 7-6 with 5:17 remaining in the first, the Silver Knights took a time-out, just to let the team know they were playing well. Following the break in action Central revved up the engine and raced out to a 22-12 lead to end the quarter.
From there it was full steam ahead for the home team as they used their strength on the boards, quickness and outside shooting to run up a 31-point halftime lead, 50-19, and the game was virtually over at that point. After the break, the lead continued to grow, and Central led by 42 points before coach Mel Stevens brought in the second unit to finish out the game.
While the Silver Knights were getting beat around on the boards and were having trouble finding the basket, one bright spot was Phillips. He ended as the game’s leading scorer with 28 and finished his career at Tyler Consolidated as the school’s all-time leading scorer.
The Silver Knights have a good rebounder of their own in Tyler West, who scored nine points to back up Phillips, but Central kept a body on him as they doubled the Silver Knights rebounding effort, 52-26. West fouled out midway throughout the third period and ended with only five boards. Mark Rucker grabbed seven rebounds for Tyler and scored six points.
“I felt like we came out early and caused them a few problems and were playing the way we wanted to play,” coach Steve Nutter said. “I even called that time-out at 7-6 to let them know we were fine. Unfortunately, that didn’t help us.”
“Our kids played hard like that all season long. Tyler West has been a rebounding machine for us, but they had two or three bodies on him at all times underneath, and we just couldn’t get the ball.”
For Central Catholic, freshman Ryan Reasbeck finished with 20 points, while Anthony Robbins and junior Clayton Abate each hit 12. Abate also recorded a double-double with 10 boards. Bray Price also hit double-figures, adding 10 to Central’s balanced attack. D.J. Sanders grabbed 10 rebounds, with eight coming in the third frame.
Nutter and the Silver Knights fell a game short of their early season goal of reaching the state tournament in Charleston; however, they ended with a positive 15-10 record and a successful season despite the loss