St. John’s/Tipton boys maintain for Longhorn win
For the first time this season the Thunder Ridge Longhorns had the opportunity to challenge the St. John's/ Tipton Blujay boys. The Jays had to enter the game as favorites considering they had the advantage in size, team speed, and a better record even though they've played a tougher schedule. When the game started it looked like the
opposite was true as Thunder Ridge jumped out to an early lead and maintained that lead until the midpoint of the second quarter when the Jays used a 10 point run to right the ship. From that point on the Jays on the game and ended up on the long end of the 72-50 victory.
The game started with the Longhorns jumping out to an early lead with a pair of baskets. Brandon Bates added three points but, the Longhorns scored again. After a basket by Dalton Schmitt the Longhorns answered with a pair to up their lead 10-5. After a basket by Brady Palen the Longhorns added a 7-0 run pushing their lead to 17-7. The Jays started the battle back with a basket by Jadyn Rosebaugh, three pointer by Braden Dameron and an added two by Bates. The first quarter ended on a basket by Brayden Perez which closed the gap as the Longhorns led 20-16. The second quarter opened with a couple of free throws by Thunder Ridge before Palen followed with a pair of baskets. The Longhorns held their lead hitting a three-pointer making the score 25-20. Palen retaliated with a basket that started a 10-0 run by the Jays. Dameron, Palen, and Schmitt added two point shots, and Perez two free throws. When the dust settled the Jays had gone from trailing by five to leading by five, to end the first half 30-25.
That late offense to surge in the first half carried over into the second half as Dameron scored on a three pointer. Schmitt exchanged buckets with the Longhorn six points and then Palen went to work. He scored a basket and two free throws followed by Rosebaugh with four points added on put backs. Dameron scored on two more key three-point shots and Schmitt added the inside shot. Jaret Eitzmann and Luke Bates finished the third quarter scoring with a basket apiece for the Jays lead 55-39.
The fourth quarter started with a pair of free throws by the Longhorns. The Jays then added another 10-0 fueled by a conventional three-point play by Dameron along with three baskets and a free throw by Palen that pushed the lead to 65-41. The game ended with a three pointer by Eitzmann and field goals by Rosenbaugh and Luke Bates as the Jays wrapped up a 72-50 victory.
"We struggled in the first quarter with playing tight defense but stepped it up in the third quarter," said Blujay Coach Lance Bergmann. "Brandon had an excellent floor game and got the ball to the right spots. Brady was dominant on the inside again and really got going in the second quarter giving us a boost. Dalton took advantage of the size and rebounded well and finished. Jayden was big again on the boards and had some nice put backs. Blake and Brayden did a good job of giving us energy when we needed it in the press and Braden had a nice put back and defensive hustle plays. Braden had an excellent game did a nice job of taking the shot when it was there and driving it when he needed to. Jaret and Luke came in off the bench and I was pleased with the last three quarters."
Brady Palen led the Jays in scoring with 21 points. He also had 7 rebounds, 2 assists, 2 steals, and 2 blocks. Braden Dameron was also in double figures with 17 points, 3 rebounds, and 5 assists, Jadyn Rosenbach had 8 points, 6 rebounds, 1 assist, and 1 steal, Dalton Schmitt had 8 points, 9 rebounds, 1 steal, and 2 blocks, Brandon Bates had 5 points, 5 rebounds, 7 assists, 2 steals, and 1 block, Jerot Eitzmann had 5 points, 2 rebounds, 1 assist, and 1 steal, Brayden Perez had 4 points, 2 rebounds, and 3 steals, and Luke Bates had 4 points and 3 rebounds.
With the win the Jays record now stands 9-4. Their next game is at Wilson tonight (Friday) before the makeup game on Monday at Hill City.