by Gregg Meadows
After falling a game behind league-leading Sheridan midway through the 2019-20 season, Coach Todd Mcloughlin’s Tri-Valley boys basketball team knew that they would have to care of the only thing they could – and that was winning. It would be up to another MVL team to knock the mighty Generals from their perch alone at top of the conference.
And that’s just what happened on Friday night, February 7, as the Scotties defeated host Crooksville by a 79-54 count, while about an hour east – in New Concord – Coach Eric Sheck’s John Glenn Muskies upset Sheridan 45-34 to hand SHS it’s second circuit loss of the season. The Scotties and Generals are tied for the MVL lead, as the regular season enters its final week of conference action.
And – as fate would have it – the Scotties travel to New Concord this Tuesday night, February 11 to face the Muskies in a definite ‘must-win’ situation for the black and gold.
In the Crooksville win, the Scotties faced an early 4-0 deficit to the host Ceramics, but back-to-back treys from Jack Lyall and Ty Smith gave the Dawgs a lead that they would never relinquish the rest of the way in earning their 15th win of the season – with just five losses – and more importantly, improving their MVL mark to 12-2 with just a pair of conference matchups remaining – Tuesday’s John Glenn game, and a Senior Night regular season and home finale vs Philo, Friday night, Feb. 14 in Dresden at The Dawg House.
Balanced scoring – and a total team effort – were the key ingredients in the Crooksville win, as at least five different Scotties cracked the scoring column in (remarkably) every quarter, as the Scotties led 16-8 at the first break, owned a 30-22 advantage at halftime, and took a 48-38 lead into the fourth quarter, before busting out for 31 points in the final eight minutes of action for the final 79-54 tally.
Jack Lyall led a quartet of Scotties in double figures, scoring in all four quarters for his team-high total of 13 points, while Jakob Frueh and Luke Lyall added 12 counters, and Skye Bryan 11. Jalen Goins-Chandler added nine counters for the winners, who also got six points each from Keaton Williams, Ty Smith, and Caden King. Bryan also snared nine rebounds for the Scotties and dished out four assists. Caden Sparks led Crooksville with 22 points, followed by Caden Miller with 14.
Coach Chris Garber’s TV junior varsity charges defeated Crooksville 39-28 in the reserve game, led by Aaron Frueh’s 19 points. Sky Moore’s nine points led the Crooksville JVs. Coach Davis Keel’s Scottie frosh tipped of the evening of triple-header hoops action at Crooksville, as the Scotties defeated the Ceramics ninth-grade squad 44-37. Jayden Walker led the TV freshman with 12 points, followed closely by David Huffman’s 10 points, and Bennett Baker’s nine.