By Matt Myers
Tanner Stiltner went wild in the opening game of the final night of 13U pool/seeding play in the Ole Barn Restaurant Christmas Tournament Wednesday at T.A. Dugger’s John B. Large Gym.
Twenty-six points and 10 steals were the result of the Stiltner’s stalwarts efforts as the Cyclones were able to withstand a late Happy Valley PW 1 offensive run and pull the final margin to 55-48 in their favor.
Stiltner’s non-pareil transition and defensive play coupled with the scoring prowess of John-Wesley Hardin amidst a 14-point night for the youngster allowed the 13U Cyclones to outlast a HVPW 1 team that never gave in and used their own scoring prowess to cut the Cyclone lead down to four points midway through the fourth quarter.
Stiltner’s dominant D and Hardin’s exploitation of easy layups in transition proved to be just enough to hold back a Warrior team led by Logan Slone’s eight second-half points on what would become a 16-point night for him. Josh Younce also got in on the offensive action throughout the third quarter for the Warriors, and his 10 points coupled with the sterling play of teammates Wesley Rose and Isaiah Rhodes forced the Cyclones to surge late to build a insurmountable margin in the final minute.
13U HVPW 3 v Cyclones
Two wins are always better than one. Just ask Tanner Stiltner.
In the second game of pool/seeding play, the youngster solidified a 36-10 win over Happy Valley’s PeeWee third team with 13 points as the Cyclones garnered back-to-back wins on the evening. Stiltner’s teammates Lawson Wagner and Ethan Eggleston also got in on the scoring action with six points apiece as the Cyclones built a 22-4 halftime lead into the eventual final margin.
Although Kasey Bennett and Logan Smith were both able to garner buckets for the Warriors, HVPW 3 could not withstand a second-half Cyclone attack that found its emphasis in balanced, possession-minded scoring and garnering trips to the charity stripe.
13U HVPW 6 v. Hurricanes
Amidst a notable Hurricane effort that ensured Wednesday night’s third pool/seeding would be won by the slimmest of margins, Happy Valley’s Pee Wee sixth team withstood the adversity placed against them by the small and scrappy Hurricanes and held on to capture a 29-28 win.
Post play was the hallmark of the Warriors throughout the evening as Corey Hatcher’s 10 points and five rebounds from down low paced the youngsters. A 18-9 Warrior lead at halftime was due in part to his efforts as well as the play of Dylan Barlow amidst an eight-point night and big man J.D. McAmis, who would go on to finish with six tallies. Sean Hayes paced the Hurricanes with 11 points while Jacob Surcey proved that even small basketball players can succeed inside with nine points, including a layin that brought the score to 29-28 with 14 seconds to play.
Although any close loss is tough to bear for any competitor, the Hurricanes will get a chance to redeem their heartbreaker in first-round action tomorrow night from John. B. Large against Happy Valley’s 5th Peewee team.
13U Copperheads v. Roan Highlands
The Copperheads captured top seeding and a first-round bye in this year’s Ole Barn Restaurant Christmas Tournament with a 41-30 win over Roan Highlands in the nightcap of pool/seeding action Wednesday night at John B. Large Gym.
Trevor Waycaster posted a 13-point total from his point guard position while teammate Landon Morefield tallied 10 points with strong inside play from the post. The Copperhead offense was the catalyst of a third-quarter burst that saw the Copperheads eventually pull away from Roan Highlands, which held a slim 17-16 lead at intermission.
Jacob Shelton paced the Roan Highlands scoring attack with nine points while teammates Roland Banks and Ikey Edwards garnered eight and seven points, respectively, in a game that was within Roan Highlands’ grasp until the 3:00 mark of the fourth quarter.
Roan Highlands garnered second-place seeding with the effort that came up just short and will face the Cyclones in first round-action in the nightcap tomorrow night at John B. Large Gymnasium.