Taylor, Cass reach sectional finals
Mar. 6—Taylor’s young boys basketball group will bet a sectional champion for the very first time considering that 2016 when the Titans tip off versus No. 8 Blackford tonight in the title video game of the Class 2A Blackford Sectional.
The Titans put themselves in the title video game with a 52-50 success over Sheridan in Friday night’s opening semifinal. Blackford had 2 shots to incorporate the last seconds, however Taylor endured.
“We haven’t got to play for a championship in a long time,” Taylor coach Dennis Bentzler stated. “I know our kids are excited. Our kids are going to play hard and we’ll see. Maybe we can steal a championship [tonight].”
Taylor held the lead almost the whole video game, however it was constantly close. The Titans led 14-8 after a quarter, 30-24 at halftime and 44-41 after 3 quarters.
The Titans got 14 points from Ryley Gilbert, 10 each from Josh Bowman and reserve Mekhi McGee, and 7 from Nathan Keene.
“I thought Ryley Gilbert played much better, and under control, than he has in a long time,” Bentzler stated. “I thought he made good decisions. He got us off early, he shot the ball well, was under control, hit 4 of 5 free throws. I really liked the way Ryley played.
“Ty’Mon Davis was available in and strike a 3. Mekhi McGee is simply difficult to guard. He did an excellent job too.”
Just as critical were the Titans’ defensive contributions against Sheridan leading scorers Ethan Moistner, Silas Devaney and Kyle Eden.
“The Moistner kid, my goodness, [he went] 5 of 9 from the 3 line, he had 18 points however he just had one in the 2nd half. We put a couple men on him with some length and attempted to turn off screens to assist.”
Bentzler noted strong play from Quinten Tucker defending Sheridan multi-threat forward Devaney.
“I’m so happy with our men for hanging in there and making the modifications,” Bentzler said.
The Bruins and Titans didn’t play in the regular season. Blackford beat Taylor 83-55 in the sectional last season.
BLACKFORD 69, TIPTON 50
No. 8 Blackford got 35 points from Indiana All-Star candidate Luke Brown and pulled away to beat Tipton in the second semifinal of the Class 2A Blackford Sectional.
Tipton led 15-14 after a quarter but Blackford took the lead at halftime 36-30. The sectional hosts pushed their lead to 10 after three quarters at 51-41.
Mylan Swan led Tipton (10-13) with 17 points and Nolan Swan added 11.
CASS 67, RENSSELAER 56
Lewis Cass put together perhaps its best half of the season in a sectional semifinal game on Friday night.
The Kings are hoping it’s the kind of play that will propel them to a tournament run.
The Kings jumped out to a 40-20 lead at halftime en route to a 67-56 win over Rensselaer at the Class 2A Delphi Sectional.
“I believe that was among our finest halves of the year without a doubt, offensively and defensively,” Cass coach Kyle Johnson said of the first half, when the Kings doubled up the Bombers in what was expected to be a close game.
The Kings (13-11) were sharp on both ends of the court.
“Someone like Carson Vest dropping in to take 3 charges in that very first half, it’s simply incredible what those charges do as far as the momentum,” Johnson stated.
The Bombers (12-10) warmed up from the outdoors and got to within 50-41 after 3 quarters of play. After they cut the result in 7 to open the 4th, Tristin Miller went on an individual 6-0 run. Back-to-back feeds from Tyson Johnson to Miller made it a 56-43 video game with 5:00 left. The Bombers never ever got to within single digits the remainder of the method.
Tyson Good led the Kings with 18 points, 8 rebounds, 6 helps and 3 obstructed shots. Miller had 17 points off the bench. Vest had 17 points on 8 of 8 shooting from the field. Luke Chambers included 8 points and 8 boards.
Robert Chamness and Tat Drone had 14 points each and Joshua Fleming included 13 to lead the Bombers.
Cass plays No. 10 Rochester (17-1) at 7 p.m. tonight for the sectional title. The Kings handed the Zebras their only loss of the season, 49-35, on Dec. 30 in Rochester.
COWAN 67, TRI-CENTRAL 50
The Trojans supported early to Cowan and the Blackhawks kept extending their lead in a Class A Wes-Del Sectional semifinal. Cowan was up 15-10 after a quarter, 31-20 at halftime, and 47-32 after 3 quarters.
Jake Chapman led Tri-Central (11-12) with 19 points and 11 rebounds. Caden Leininger scored 13 points. Connor Hindman and Mason Pickens each dished 4 helps.
Jobber Wiki author Frank Long contributed to this report.