KANSAS — The home court has been a good thing for the Tri-County Titans boys basketball team to start the 2018-2019 season.
The Titans won their own Turkey Tournament in Oakland on opening week and just came off of a win in Hume on Tuesday night against Westville heading into Friday night’s LOVC interdivision contest against the Arcola Purple Riders for the Kansas Homecoming 2018.
Tri-County had its sights set on winning their fourth straight game and be only one win away from equaling their entire win total from last season very early on in the season.
The Titans did just that — and in an emphatic way.
After a slow first quarter, Tri-County got another huge boost off the bench to dominate the final three quarter en route to a 70-48 throttling of Arcola for their fourth straight win and their sixth win in their first seven games.
In the first quarter, both teams were tentative, feeling each other out. Turnovers plagued the Titans early with four quick mistakes. The Riders couldn’t capitalize enough turning the ball back over on a couple of occasions leading both teams to an 11-11 tie after eight minutes of play.
The second quarter was when Tri-County got another shot in the arm from the bench. Cole McClain came into the game and continued where he left off from Tuesday against Westville, scoring 6 of the Titans 14 points in the frame. McClain got some help from another reserve as Kenzal Lloyd scored 4 points fueling the surge. The Riders just couldn’t keep up missing some shots in the paint. TCT held Arcola to 6 points giving the Titans had a 25-17 lead heading into the locker room at halftime.
That second quarter surge continued into the third quarter for the Titans to the tune of 26 points as Mason Hutchinson got into the act scoring 10 points. The Riders tried to keep pace getting two huge 3-pointers by Kevin Garza as part of a 19 point quarter to stay relatively close as Tri-County held a 51-36 lead heading into the final eight minutes.
The final quarter was all TCT. The Titans kicked it into overdrive using dribble penetration to get to the free throw line and going 11 of 13 in the quarter as part of the 19-point scoring bonanza. The Titans also used strong clock management with good passing over a three minute span with a 15 point lead before taking a shot to limit the Riders time to try and make a comeback. The Riders simply ran out of gas due to the speed of the Titans only scoring 12 points as Tri-County completed the 22 point win.
The Titans shot 27 of 54 for an even 50 percent while going an incredible 14 of 17 from the charity stripe for 82.6 percent. Three Titan players reached double figures as Mitch Pollock led the way with 14 points and the duo of Cole McClain and Mason Hutchinson added 13 points each. The Titans turned the ball over 14 times.
The Riders were 18 of 52 overall for 34.6 percent and 6 of 11 from the line for 54.5 percent. Myles Roberts led Arcola with 12 points while Kevin Garza added nine and Alec Davila had eight in the loss. The Riders committed 15 turnovers.
The Titans (6-1) will travel to Decatur Tuesday night for an LOVC interdivision contest against the Decatur LSA Lions. This will be a rematch of the LOVC Overall Tournament third place game from a season ago where the Lions defeated the Titans in Arthur. Tip off is set for 6 p.m. at Decatur Lutheran School.
Tri-County 52, Westville 28
Fresh off winning their own Turkey Tournament last week, the Tri-County Titans boys’ basketball team was back in action on Tuesday night in Hume taking on the Westville Tigers. Head Coach David Smith was hoping that his team would stay strong and not have a let down after the huge week last week going against a Tigers team that looked to slow things down. As the game progress, the Titans got a big boost off the bench from one of their players and use a strong defensive game to come out with a 52-28 win giving Tri-County their third straight win.
The opening quarter saw the Titans used strong dribble penetration and transition game getting even distribution of scoring for 14 points. The Tigers didn’t get much going, but manage to get a little boost as Jerrid Barney hit a half court three point shot as time expired to give Westville 8 points and stay close only down 14-8 after the first eight minutes.
The second stanza was where the Titans got a shot in the arm off the bench as Cole McClain scored nine of TCT’s 11 points. The defense for Tri-County stayed firm as well as Westville only managed six points to give the Titans a 25-14 lead at the halftime break.
The Tigers stayed close in the third quarter despite getting very few shots scoring seven points with Raef Burke scoring four of those seven points in the paint. The Titans countered that with even distribution of the basketball scoring 10 points and Tri-County had a 35-21 lead heading into the final eight minutes.
The final stanza saw the Titans defense go into overdrive with points off transition as McClain scored six of TCT’s 17 points. The Tigers had no answer just scoring seven points as Tri-County completed the 22 point win.
The Titans went 23 of 54 overall for 42.6 percent and 5 of 8 from the line for 62.5 percent. The Titans handled the ball well only committing six turnovers. Cole McClain led all scorers with 15 points off the bench while Caleb Ard and Mason Hutchinson added eight points each. Trenton Pinnell had seven in the win.
The Tigers were 12 of 42 overall for 28.6 percent and only 1 of 4 from the line for 25 percent. Westville coughed up the ball 21 times. Dalton Vance led the way with 10 points in the loss.