It was a close game all the way, but the Skyline Thunderbirds pulled away in last minute of the game to defeat the Lyons Lions.
The Lions kept roaring, but in the end, it was the Skyline Thunderbirds that came away with a 55-50 victory over Lyons. These two evenly matched teams played it tight game on Tuesday that lasted all the way to the finish. With just 1:45 left in the game, Lyons took the lead. But Skyline fought back and finally pulled away for a five-point victory.
“It was fairly close most of the game. Our biggest lead was 9 and we were down no more than 1,” said Skyline Coach Eddy. “I think we had the lead at the end of every quarter.”
Those scores reveal that these two teams were very evenly matched: first quarter 17-16, second quarter 28-24, third quarter 42-35, fourth quarter 55-50.
The T-Birds were able to maintain their defensive intensity. Lyons had good guards and that made it tough but the Skyline defense held strong and kept coming away with rebounds. It was the team’s best rebounding game of the year, Eddy said.
Team turnovers were about average but the boys had a lot of hustle.
“Our guys were the first ones on the floor during a loose ball. And the guys took five charges,” Eddy said. “It was a big momentum thing for us.” When Lyons got one point ahead with 1:45 to go, Mike Schmidt hit a clutch 3-pointer. The guys hit free throws at the end to ensure the victory. It wasn’t as comfortable a lead as Eddy thought it would be because the Lyons played very hard, Eddy said.
Lyons was impressive with good guard play. They played their varsity guys a long time in the game. They are in Pratt’s league and off nights are few.They played hard and were very physical.
The T-Birds played well and stuck to the game plan. They played a full court man-to-man defense and hung in when they switched to a zone. The team stayed out of foul trouble, Eddy said.
One area of concern was shooting. They hit just 11 of 22 free throw attempts. And they weren’t hitting from 3 point land hitting just 4 of 24 attempts. On the average, the team is hitting 7 to 9 three pointers a game but they just weren’t falling against Lyons. The team needs to get some confidence back for 3-pointers.
“We shot the ball poorly but still found a way to win. That’s exciting,” Eddy said.
Eddy said he kept the starters in the game most of the way and didn’t go very deep on the bench. Nik Montgomery and Colby Shriver both had good games. Montgomery had seven rebounds and that was big for the team, Eddy said.
The Thunderbirds are now 7-0 on the season. Besides playing good ball, Eddy credits the fact the his team loves to play and they get along for the most part. They work hard during the summer and play some 40 games against schools big or small, of just anyone they can.
“There’s a lot of preparation. The guys have been working hard,” Eddy said.
The team’s next opponent is Argonia on Jan. 4 at Skyline. Eddy said he didn’t know much about them but the team will spend some time practicing over Christmas break to be sure they are ready.
It takes a positive attitude to keep a team going. Steve Fisher has had a great attitude and helped keep the team in the right metal attitude. Colby Shriver is a starter and helps keeps a terrific attitude on the bench.
“Our bench was great. They were going crazy the whole time,” Eddy said.
Leading scorers for the T-Birds against Lyons were Cade Swonger-15, Steve Fisher-11, Sam Fisher-10, Mark Schmidt-9 and Eliazar Carrasaco-9.