February 25, 2010

State-Ranked Rams Retain Rock Trophy With 63-53 Win Over SCR-I

Schuyler Countyís loss to Putnam County on Tuesday night took just a bit of the edge off Friday nightís Tri-Rivers Conference match-up in Queen City, but even without an outright battle for the league title, Scotland County had plenty to play for.

While the Rams had finally lost their first game of the year, leaving an open road for the Midgets to run the table in the TRC, the Tigers would have liked nothing better than to knock off state ranked Schuyler County, leap-frogging them in the conference standings while bringing home the Jason Rockhold memorial traveling trophy in the process.

Unfortunately SCR-I found out that Schuyler County hadnít made it 20-1 on the year by accident. The Rams displayed a versatile attack that featured too many weapons for the Tigers to stop.

Thatís not to say SCR-I didnít do its best to slow down the Rams in a clash that is easily becoming one of the best local rivalries around.

The Tigers came out of the gates fast. Kyle Shelley dished out a pretty assist to Harley Stone for the gameís first score in a prelude of what was to come for Scotland County. The duo combined to score 32 points despite Stone missing some time in the game with an injury. But even with their solid start, SCR-I was unable to stop the Rams guard tandem of Tim Gorman and Jesse Wheeler. They scored 11 of Schuyler Countyís first 16 points as the home team led by seven at the end of the first quarter.

The margin grew to double digits midway through the second period. But SCR-I hung around courtesy of some solid play off the bench by Dakota Wells and Brock Bondurant, who combined for eight second quarter points, including a pair of three pointers.

The Rams answered with some long balls of their own. Jaron Shively and Tyler Weaver both connected from behind the arc to help maintain a comfortable cushion.

But Shelley continued to play with fire for SCR-I. The senior scored the final four points of the half to trim the deficit to 32-25 at the break.

The momentum carried over into the third period. Stone scored on a drive to the hoop and Kasey Dial got dialed in from long range. His three pointer made it 35-30.

But the Rams found an answer on the defensive end. Schuyler County was able to counter SCR-Iís aggressive drives to the basket, stepping in to draw three charge calls during a key stretch. The Rams took advantage of the stops, with Wheeler and Shively hitting three pointers to fuel an 8-0 run that looked poised to blow the game open finally for the home team.

Trailing by 15 heading into the fourth quarter, the Tigers put together one final push. Shelley scored in the paint and Dial connected from behind the arc. After Stone scored on an offensive rebound, Shelley canned his first three pointer of the year to force a Schuyler County time out with the score 54-46.

But SCR-I couldnít ride the momentum any closer. Wells scored on a pretty reverse inside and Dial hit another three pointer, but the Rams held off the charge to prevail 63-53.

Wheeler finished with 26 points to lead all scorers. Gorman added 16 points for the Rams who improved to 21-1 and 6-1 in the TRC.

The loss dropped SCR-I to 10-12 on the year and 5-2 in the TRC. Shelley finished with 18 points to pace Scotland County and Stone added 14 points.

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