Rebels snag season’s 10th win over the weekend
By LUKE CREASY
GLENHAYES - The Tolsia Rebels boys basketball team played three games last week and now stand at 10-4 overall after road losses to Johnson Central (KY) and Lawrence County (KY), and a home win against Buffalo in the second round of the West Virginia Hometown Invitational Tournament (WVHIT) Friday evening.
Tolsia began the week of play with a 9-2 record having won seven consecutive games but surrendered a two point halftime lead and were outscored by ten in the second half as the Johnson Central Golden Eagles (14-4) bested the Rebels 84-76 on Tuesday, Jan. 22. It was Tolsia’s third loss of the year and first since Dec. 15.
The highlight of the week came against sectional opponent Buffalo in Hometown Invitational Tournament play at Rebel Arena, a 65-50 win for Tolsia. Buffalo fought back after a slow start when Tolsia jumped out to a 10-1 lead, holding the Bison without a made shot from the floor until Nate Gibson scored with 1:17 left in the first quarter. The shot sparked a 12-2 Buffalo scoring run to put them ahead by one point early in the second quarter.
Tolsia responded with a run of its own to regain the lead and head to halftime leading 29-20.
The Rebels have the speed to run up and down the court for a full 32 minutes if they have to, but Tolsia head coach Todd Maynard said the goal in the second half was to dictate the pace of the game if they had the lead, forcing Buffalo to play into the hand of the Rebels
“I told them if we made a little bit of a run to start the second half we were going to slow the pace down and make them come off the back line and out to guard us at the perimeter,” Maynard said. “When you have a big cushion, they have to come to you, they can’t sit back and play the way they have been so that was our goal and we executed it.”
Gibson wasted no time getting the offense going for Buffalo at the start of the third quarter, pulling of from well behind the three point line to pull the deficit to six points, but Tolsia freshman Jess Muncy and senior Jacob Mollette hit well timed back-to-back three point shots to give the Rebels a then game-high twelve point lead just over a minute into the half. The Bison never trimmed the deficit to fewer than seven points and a small Tolsia scoring run midway through the fourth quarter put the game on ice.
Tolsia finished out a week of competition just a short distance down Route 52 and across the river with a road game against the Lawrence County Bulldogs. In their second and final meeting of the year, the Bulldogs picked up a 71-52 win over visiting Tolsia, its worse loss of the season.
The Tolsia boys had a scheduled road game against Tug Valley on yesterday, and will return to action this weekend when it travel to South Harrison on Saturday for a WVHIT semi-final game against the hosting Hawks.