The Tyner Rams rarely lose a basketball game at home, but the Notre Dame Fighting Irish turned the trick Tuesday night.
Breaking away from a 25-26 draw at intermission, Notre Dame took a 37-35 lead after three quarters. It was still anyone’s game at that point, but the Fighting Irish had other ideas as they outscored the Rams 16-6 in the final eight minutes for an impressive 53-41 non-district victory.
“We had a serious conversation at the half and I did some yelling as I really challenged them. I’m not sure they liked what I had to say, but they responded in a very positive manner and played a great second half of basketball,” Notre Dame coach Jonathan Adams said following the game.
“Tyner has an outstanding team and I have the utmost respect for Ejay Ward as he’s a real close friend of mine, but defense was the key as we limited them to just six points in the fourth quarter. We also made some big plays on offense, but this is really a big win for us,” Adams added.
Tyner’s Ward certainly didn’t make any excuses as he knows the season is young and that growth at times can be painful.
“I thought we had some dead spots that hurt us in the second half and also a couple of killer turnovers, but this is a bunch of new guys who are still trying to figure out their roles, so I didn’t have to say a whole lot after the game. They know just how disappointed I am with this loss.
“I thought we still had a chance to win at the start of the fourth quarter, but we just got beat by a really good team. There’s always another game in basketball, but we’ll keep working to get better. Losing early in the season may be a good thing because there’s always a lesson to be learned from it,” Ward said in his usual quiet tone.
The Rams raced to a 9-0 lead at the start with three straight shots from long range, but the Irish didn’t panic and knotted the score at 9 on a 3 from D.J. Brown with 2:51 left in the opening stanza.
Nehemiah Bloodsaw hit a bank shot from the line to put Tyner back on top at 11-9 with 2:06 showing before the Irish finished the quarter on a 6-0 run for a 15-11 lead at the first break.
Tyner then scored nine of the first 11 points in the second stanza for a 20-17 lead following a three-point play by Rodney Henderson with 5:59 on the clock. A 9-0 run by the Irish put the visitors up 26-20 following a layup by Ty Wilkerson with 4:08 before halftime, but the Rams answered with a run of their own as they scored the final six points for a 26-26 tie at intermission.
Xavier Fisher scored on a drive from the wing to open the second half for Tyner before Notre Dame tallied nine unanswered points for a 35-28 lead following an inside move by Wilkerson with 3:47 left in the third.
Tyner then scored seven of the last nine points to get within 37-35 at the end of the quarter following a slam by Bloodsaw.
Two free throws by Joshua Jackson knotted the score for the last time at 37 with 7:08 to play, but Tyner could only manage four points the rest of the way as Notre Dame slowly pulled away.
Cole McCormick had an outstanding game and led the winners with 19 points. Tim Vaughn was next with 12 while Brown also finished in double figures with 10.
Fisher was tops for Tyner with 16 points while Bloodsaw added 10 and Henderson nine.
Notre Dame, now 4-2 for the season, had an unofficial 26-25 advantage in rebounds. Vaughn had nine and McCormick eight for the Irish while Fisher had seven, Jackson six and Keelan Jackson five for the Rams.
NOTRE DAME GIRLS 65, TYNER 34: The Lady Irish bolted out to a 19-6 after the first quarter and it never got closer as Notre Dame won in a landslide.
Dayonna Perryman scored 19 points for the winners while Kenzie Campbell was right behind with 17. Mary Fillauer was next with nine points.
Alona Allen was Tyner’s only player in double figures as she finished with 13 points. Kamari McCullough was next with seven points.
NOTRE DAME 19 12 21 13 -- 65
TYNER 6 12 8 8 -- 34
NOTRE DAME (65) – Distasio, Kenzie Campbell 17, Mag. Fillauer, Maples 2, Steele, Danonna Perryman 19, Mary Fillauer 9, McGann, Skaggs 6, Gaines 6, Mullins 6, MacDonald.
TYNER (34) – Alona Allen 13, Camp 4, I. Chubb, K. Chubb 5, McCullough 7, Davis 3, Manghane 2, Sabb.
3-POINT GOALS: Notre Dame 6 (Campbell 2, Mary Fillauer, Skaggs, Gaines 2); Tyner 2 (McCullough, Davis).
NOTRE DAME 15 11 11 16 -- 53
TYNER 11 15 9 6 -- 41
NOTRE DAME (53) – Tim Vaughn 12, Hammond 6, Cole McCormick 19, Robinson, Houston, McGee 2, Wilkerson 4, D.J. Brown 10.
TYNER (41) – Xavier Fisher 16, Henderson 9, Nehemiah Bloodsaw 10, K. Jackson, Sims, Conyers, J. Jackson 6, Smith.
3-POINT GOALS: Notre Dame 6 (Hammond, McCormick 3, Brown 2); Tyner 3 (Fisher, Henderson 2).
(Email John Hunt at firstname.lastname@example.org)