The size, skill, and talent of Hamilton Heights were on full display Tuesday night as they dismantled a solid Tyner squad, 64-49.
The host, Tyner, was led by a stellar performance and 19 points from Keelan Jackson, and they played about as good as they could ask for. Behind an electric home crowd, they made multiple huge runs to get the game within reach, but Hamilton Heights weathered every storm that came their way. The poise of the Hamilton Heights guards and the defense from big man Somto Cyril were just too much to overcome.
Early shooting struggles from the visiting squad made the game very interesting in the first quarter, and Tyner led 15-13 at the first buzzer, but once the second started, Hamilton Heights imposed their will. Though full stats weren’t taken, ESPN’s 21st ranked player in the class of 2024 Somto Cyril, who is listed at 6’11, most likely finished with a double-double, and nearly a triple-double if he could have scored one more bucket. Cyril hit double digits in rebounds… and blocks, numbers he nearly averages on the year. The majority of his rim protection came during the second quarter, a quarter in which they dominated 21-4. The team was able to be incredibly aggressive because of his presence.
“It always feels good when you have somebody in the paint that is going to erase everything… He is so good at timing shots, so it’s very hard to get momentum going to the basket. That’s why Tyner had to shoot so many threes today because he’s so good. He is showing why he is a five star.” Said, Hamilton Heights Coach Stephen Cook.
Offensively, it was all dunks and three-pointers. Cyril and Jordann Dumont threw it down countless times, while guard Bryson Andrews hit four of his five threes during the half.
“[Bryson Andrews] has been missing shots for the last four games, but we keep telling him to keep doing what he does, and he is going to hit shots. Today he got up out of his slump. He has been coming to the gym and putting up shots at 6 am, during lunch, and after practice, so today he showed the hard work he has been putting in.” Said, Cook.
A SportsCenter-Top-10-worthy play to end the half perfectly encapsulated the way the game was going as guard Cam Andrews spun out of a double team and dumped it off to Cyril for a ferocious dunk right before the buzzer taking Hamilton Heights into the locker room with all the momentum up 34-19.
Tyner, however, came out of the half strongly and behind eight points from Keelan Jackson, cut the lead to just four points with three minutes left in the third, but once again, this time behind their trio of guards, the Andrews brothers, and Champ Patterson, Hamilton Heights responded and eventually put the game away.
Coach Cook cited his guards’ ability to stick to their philosophies and not get rattled under pressure as to why they were able to withstand such a hostile environment.
Though the game was basically over, the fourth quarter, much like the rest of the game, was one to watch. Hamilton Heights put on a dunk contest as they ran away with the game finishing 64-49 at the final buzzer.
HAMILTON HEIGHTS 13 21 15 15 - 64
TYNER 15 4 22 8 - 49
HAMILTON HEIGHTS (64) – Jordann Dumont 15, Bryson Andrews 15, Cam Andrews 14, Cyril 9, Patterson 7, Slavik 2, Hull 2.
TYNER (49) – Keelan Jackson 19, Rodney Henderson 10, Bloodsawt 5, J. Jackson 5, Fisher 4, Sims 4, Williams 2.
3-POINT GOALS: Hamilton Heights 9 (B. Andrews 5, C. Andrews 2, Patterson, Dumont); Tyner 8 (K. Jackson 5, Henderson, Bloodsaw, J. Jackson).
(Contact Jack Gold at email@example.com)