Saturday afternoon in Dresden at The Dawg House, Coach Todd McLoughlin’s Tri-Valley boys varsity basketball team hosted a non-conference contest with fellow Division I foe from two counties away to the west, Westerville Central.
The visiting Warhawks owned an overall 8-12 record and as well as a sub-par 3-6 mark in the most competitive, D-I Central District, multi-division Ohio Capital Conference.
But after spotting the host Scotties a 26-18 lead at the first break, first-year coach Kevin Martin’s lightning-quick Warhawk cage quintet proved anything but ‘sub-par’, blitzing the Dawgs 52-23 the rest of the way over the last three quarters to record the 70-49 win.
The host Tri-Valley varsity cagers got off to a great start – on a day at the Dawg House billed as a ‘basketball palooza’ with both girls and boys hoops action taking place – as the Scotties saw five players crack the scoring column in one of their most productive – and impressive – first quarters of the season.
Tri-Valley took a 26-18 lead at the first break, thanks to seven points each from Jack Lyall, Luke Lyall, and Skye Bryan, a trey from Keaton Williams, and a fielder from senior starter Matt King.
But the visiting Warhawks cranked it up in the second stanza, to the tune of a 25-6 second quarter run that saw the tall, talented and hustling visitors take a 43-32 lead at the halftime break.
Things got no better for the black and gold in the third quarter, as the Warhawks held the mistake-prone and cold-shooting Scotties to just four points for the second quarter in a row, as Westerville Central held a 58-36 advantage heading into the fourth quarter of play, then maintained their comfortable cushion in the fourth quarter for the eventual 21-point, 70-49 win.
Tri-Valley’s Keaton Williams led the Scotties in scoring with 12 points, followed by Jack and Luke Lyall with nine apiece, and Skye Bryan with seven counters to lead TV scorebook markers.
Westerville Central was led by Tasos Cook with his 17 point total – which included three treys – Chaz Dixon with 12 counters, and Josh Wilhelm with 11.
In the junior varsity tilt, Coach Chris Garber’s Scottie reserve squad hustled and fought to the end, but dropped a competitive 62-48 decision to the Westerville Central JV quintet. Jalen Goins-Chandler’s 19 point, five trey performance led the Scottie reserve squad, who also got 13 counters from Jordan Pantaleo and 10 points from Jakob Frueh. The victorious Warhawks were led by Landon Tillman’s 19 points and Tevawn Bush’s 18 counters.
Coach Jeff Nezbeth’s Scottie freshman cage squad ran into a buzzsaw in the TV vs Westerville Central frosh game, which tipped off the tripleheader evening of boys hoops action in the Dawg House.
The visiting Warhawk ninth grade squad led at every break to take the 70-31 win.
Tri-Valley’s Drew Burkhart led the Scotties with 11 points, followed by teammate Alex Williams, with nine counters. Westerville’s Saykoo Truwally led the winners with 16 points, followed by Sauger Shah’s five treys for 15 points, and ten counters from Jaykren Gonzalez.
Tri-Valley jumps back into Muskingum Valley League play on Tuesday night, February 5, traveling to West Muskingum, then returns home on Friday night, February 8, when they welcome the visiting Sheridan Generals to Dresden and the Dawg House.
In ‘Round One’ of MVL play, back on December 7 in Thornville, the visiting Scotties battled a tall and talented Sheridan General squad, who defeated the visiting Scotties by a 65-46 score.
The Scotties currently sit in third place in Muskingum Valley League standings, two games back of conference unbeaten John Glenn, and just a game back from second place Sheridan in the loss column.