Things started off well for the Skyline Thunderbirds basketball team Tuesday night against Stafford in the first round of the Thunderbird Classic. Cole Patterson scored a lay-up seconds after the tip-off to give Skyline a 2-0 lead. Unfortunately, that would be the T-Birds only lead of the night as they fell to the Trojans 72-48 for their second loss of the young season.
Too often, the T-Birds would get no look at the basket on a possession before they turned it over in the first half against Stafford’s zone defense. Stafford raced out to a 34-21 lead at the break.
Stafford outscored Skyline early in the third quarter to open a 46-26 lead with 4:57 to play in the stanza. Skyline had a nice stretch then, perhaps their best of the game, posting 11 points to Stafford’s 5 over the remainder of Q3.
Skyline trailed by 16 going into the final frame, but it was as close as they would get. With each coach going with large doses of reserves in the final quarter, and both teams appearing weary at the late hour (the game was not concluded until 11 p.m.), the 4th quarter began to resemble a playground game.
Both teams played defense mostly with their hands instead of their feet, and things got sloppy as neither team executed particularly well. The Trojans got the better of the action, outscoring Skyline 21- 13 over the final quarter to account for the 72-48 final score.
“We’re just not playing good basketball right now,” Skyline head coach Justin Miltner admitted. “We’re making too many mistakes on both ends of the floor. We’re still trying to get things figured out.”
“We did some good things at times,” Miltner continued. “ We had some good spurts. We did a good job jumping into some defenses that we hadn’t worked on very much.”
The Staffords hit some tough shots at times, frustrating the T-Birds efforts. “Give Stafford credit,” Miltner mentioned. “They shot lights out.”
Skyline’s season continues as they take on Sedgwick Friday night, who were winners of a triple overtime slugfest with Pretty Prairie on Tuesday (the reason for the T-Birds
late start on the evening.) On Saturday, the Skyliners will complete their action in the Thunderbird Classic by taking on the Pretty Prairie Bulldogs.
Little 0-0-1/2-1; Cole Patterson 5-2-3/4-19; Hogan 2-0-3/4-7; Brandon Abbott 5-0-2/4-12; Holtz 0-0-3/4-3; Lee 0-0-2/2-2; McComb 1-0-2/2-4