It took a while for the Skyline Thunderbirds to find the basket at South Barber on Jan. 15 but once they did, they went on a defensive push and came away with a 61-46 victory. After losing to Attica last Friday, the win column was that much sweeter.
“It was a good bounce back game,” said head coach Kenny Eddy.
With a narrow 12-10 point lead at the end of the first quarter, the T-Bird defense got busy with a full-court, man-to-man press and put good pressure South Barber. The second quarter was the turning point of the game. The T-Birds trapped well and got some good steals. The team forced 31 turnovers for the game and held the Chieftains to just eight points in the second half to take a 31-18 lead at half time.
The T-Birds kept the pressure up and had a 46-29 lead at the end of the third. While they were ap- plying good pressure and getting steals, they were missing 2-pointers and hit six 3-pointers for the game. If they could hit more two pointers, the score would have been much different.
“It could easily have been a 90 point game,” Eddy said. “We missed a lot of two pointers. I can’t say we did well.”
Fouls continued to be an issue for the Thunderbirds, both making fouls and hitting free throws. They hit just 3 of 9 free throws for the game. Only three players scored for South Barber and one third of their total points were free throws where they hit 16 of 23.
The Chieftains put on a bit of a run in the fourth quarter and outscored Skyline 17-15 but the T-Birds had too big of a lead and took home the victory.
After playing a couple of teams that were taller Skyline, there wasn’t much of a height difference with South Barber. It was more even than it had been the last couple of games, Eddy said.
Part of Skyline’s success was rebounding. The team crashed the boards very well on both offense and defense and had a total of 40 rebounds for the game.
Statistically Sam Fisher had 13 points, 8 rebounds and 5 assists. Steve Fisher had 10 points, 6 assists, and 5 rebounds. Eliazar Carrasco contributed 11 points and 8 rebounds. Ryan Adams scored a career high 10 points and Mark Schmidt led the team with 9 rebounds. Nik Montgomery rolled an ankle in a non-practice injury and was not able to play but should be back in the lineup by Tuesday of next week.
Point totals: Sam Fisher 13 with three 2-pointers, two 3-pointers and one free throw. Eliazar Carrasco 11 with five 2-pointers and one free throw. Steve Fisher 10 with two 2-pointers and two 3-pointers. Ryan Adams 10 (his personal best) with three 2-pointers, one 3-pointer and one free throw. Cade Swonger 6 with three 2-pointers. Colby Shriver 4 with two 2-pointers. Mark Schmidt 3 on one 3-pointer. Kyle Hampton 2 on one 2-pointer and Eric Ghumm 2 on one 2-pointer.
Skyline plays Cunningham Jan. 19 in the 54 Classic Tournament at Cunningham where the T-Birds are ranked No. 1 in the tournament.