Tyler Takes Out Paden City
The Tyler Consolidated Silver Knights ended the Paden City Wildcats season in the opening round of the Class A, Region 1, Section 2 game on Saturday, February 29 at the TCHS Gym. The Knights led 14-8 after one quarter and then pushed lead out to 32-16 at the half, on their way to a convincing victory by the score of 67-27.
Paden City opened the second half with a 3-pointer by Ty Cain and another three from freshman Joel Moore off a Knights turnover to pull to within 32-21. From there the Silver Knights picked up their defense intensity and rattled the Wildcats, causing numerous turnovers that led to points.
Zack Placer hit two straight 3-pointers and the Knights scored 12 points before the Cats got another basket from Nick Clarke. Gage Huffman added an easy basket off a pass from Caleb Strode and later hit a 3-pointer to propel the Knights to a 22-8 third quarter and stretch the lead to 30 points, (54-24) after three quarters play.
Early in fourth frame the Knights pressure continued to bother the Wildcats, as senior do-it-all athlete Mark Rucker brought the crowd to their feet, when he got a steal and headed down court all alone for a one-handed slam dunk.
Paden City could only manage three fourth quarter points against the Silver Knights defense, despite Coach Nutter emptying his bench midway through the quarter. Rucker ended the contest with a game high 18 points including two from long range, while dishing off for six assists and adding six steals. He finished with a double-double by also grabbing 10 rebounds. Strode also played big as the sophomore tossed in 14 points and controlled the boards with 12 carroons. Huffman added 11 points which included a 3-pointer while adding five steals, four assists and eight rebounds, plus two blocks. Senior mate Placer put up nine markers all coming from behind the arc. Noah Swiger totaled seven points, Justin Bowman finished with five and conner Bailey hit for two. Gavin Morris and David Throckmorton each hit a free throw to end the Knights scoring.
Paden City didn’t have any double figure scorers, however Moore and Clark each ened with eight to lead the team. Moore knocked in two three’s along the way. Junior Ty Cain who has batteled illness and injury most of the season finished with five points including a 3-pointer, and senior Walter Joy who finished his career as a Wildcat hit a long range three. Brandon Hizer tallied a basket and Jason Anderson hit 1-2 free throws to end the Cats scoring. Paden City made 11 field goals in the game and shot just two free throws. Tyler however, hit 24 from the field and made 12-14 from the free throw line. Strode and Rucker each cashed in 4-4 from the line and Throckmorton hit 2-2.
The Knights advanced in sectional play to take on Magnolia on Tuesday, March 3.The Knights won their sixth game of the year to improve to (6-17). While Coach Riggle and the Cats finished their season at (2-20).
“We tought we had a good game plan going into the game and the kids played hard. Coach Nutter and the Knights have a nice ball team and we wish them luck. We will miss our seniors next season, but we will come back and be a better team. These kids went through a lot all season, but they never quit. Coach Joy and I are very proud of them. Some of them are wanting to get in the gym already,” said Paden City coach Dave Riggle.