The Skyline boys basketball team defeated Cunningham 63-16 in Round 1 of the 54 Classic Tuesday night.
Skyline and Cunningham share hosting duties for the 54 Classic Tournament. The boys event is at Skyline this year, and the two clubs met in the first round Tuesday at the Thunderdome.
The Thunderbirds are having a fine season, the Wildcats not so much. SHS is seeded #1 in the Classic, CHS #8. When the teams met earlier in the year in Skyline’s pre-season tournament, the T-Birds dominated.
There was no reason to expect the rematch to be any different, and it wasn’t. Skyline led from the outset and won going away 63-16.
Tyler Tobin made 9 of his game-high 14 pts in the first period to stake the Thunderbirds to a 17-4 lead. The second period saw the Skyline bench make the most of its playing time. Of the seven T-Birds who scored in the frame, six were non-starters- led by Ryan Adams’ 7. The reserves pulled away from Cunningham even more than the starters had, outscoring the Wildcats 22-4. SHS was up 39-8 at the break.
The third quarter was reminiscent of Q1, Skyline posting 16 to Cunningham’s 4. With the clock running as fast as it could in Q4, Skyline still doubled up the Wildcats 8-4 to account for the final tally, 63-16. If there was anything intriguing about the game, it was that Cunningham scored exactly 4 points in every quarter. Something symmetrical about that.
T-Bird head coach Kenny Eddy was gracious in his post-game commentary regarding his vanquished foe. "I really thought that Cunningham had improved," he remarked. "Coach Murphy is working his tail off with those guys. Give them a couple of years and they’ll be back to what they’re used to in Cunningham."
" It was great for us to get everyone in the game for extended minutes," Eddy added. "The guys down our bench work hard everyday and deserve that time. We were able to work on some details within our offensive sets and I thought we communicated really well on defense."
Friday at 8 p.m., SHS advances to the semi-finals to meet Medicine Lodge who dropped Stafford in the opening round. On the other side of the bracket, Attica and South Barber were winners over Kinsley and Norwich. Finals will be on Saturday with the 3rd place game at 5 and the Championship at 6:30.
Skyline boys 17 22 16 8 63
Cunningham 4 4 4 4 16