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Blake Wagers comes off a Nate Fair screen and dives to the basket. - Justin Smith Photo


Tygers leave The Dungeon with OCC win

Well there are not many certain things in life. We all know this.

But, there is one thing that fans in the West Holmes district are pretty sure about right now. That thing being that the new version of the Knights’ basketball team is definitely trending in the right direction.

This was evident when the Mansfield Tygers entered The Dungeon on Jan. 24 for an Ohio Cardinal Conference clash with the Knights.

Earlier in the season the Knights were not much of a contest for the Tygers, but this time around with their new leadership and battle-minded attitude West Holmes was able to hang with the very talented Mansfield Sr. team.

Ultimately the Knights would fall 68-58, but it’s still evident that the Knights are trending upward and going to be an opponent no one is going to want to face early in the state tournament.

This first quarter was a frenzy as both teams put up points at a rapid pace. The Knights led 18-17 late in the first, but a Tygers 3-pointer at the buzzer put Mansfield Senior up 20-18. West Holmes’ Zander Shultz came out hot in the first nailing two triples to help the Knights keep pace early.

Nate Fair then led the Knights in the second scoring four points in the last two minutes of the quarter to give West Holmes a 31-29 lead at the half.

The third quarter is where the Tygers pounced on the Knights starting the quarter on a 11-3 run, reclaiming the lead and pushing it out to 42-34 midway through the third. Another mini-run of 8-2 to finish the quarter all but doomed the Knights as the Tygers led 50-36 after three.

With 3:51 left in the final quarter Shultz hit another three and Sam Sprang added a deuce in the lane to cut the lead back to ten points at 48-58. Senior was able to weather the Knights rally despite West Holmes outscoring Senior in the last frame 18-12.

West Holmes falls to 2-14 on the season and 1-10 in the Ohio Cardinal Conference. The Tygers up their season record to 10-5 and sit in second play in the OCC with a record of 8-2.

Shultz led West Holmes in the scoring column with 18 points including four triples. Shultz had plenty of help as Mason Wolfe scored ten, Zevin Proper netted ten, Nate Fair scored nine and Blake Wagers had six.

The Tygers got a massive game from Elias Owens as he torched the Knights for 21 points with 14 in the second half. Kyevi Roane added 18 points for the victors.