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Tigers, Mohawks battle in 'old man boxing match'

Waldron sophomore guard Lauryn Thomas dribbles through pressure Friday from Triton Central junior guard Grace Crist. TC defeated Waldron 49-34.

By KRIS MILLS - kmills@shelbynews.com

Waldron head coach Anthony Thomas called it a “sign of respect.”

The Class A No. 11 Mohawks did not want to run with 2A No. 3 Triton Central Friday. Slowing the game down, Waldron gave the Tigers a different look in a 49-34 loss.

In the fourth quarter, TC, with a 43-34 lead with 2:20 to play, held the ball and forced Waldron to come out and defend. That, according to Thomas, was a compliment to the game his team played.

“You can’t cover everything against them, we knew we were going to have to give something up,” said Thomas, who had Waldron play a version of a 3-2 zone in the half court. “They are a good team for a reason.

“Overall, I am very pleased with our girls effort. They worked our defensive game plan to a T.”

For Triton Central (8-1), a win, no matter by how many points, is a win. Head coach Bryan Graham said playing against a different style of defense will only help later in the season.

“Coach Thomas and Waldron did a great job of slowing the tempo down,” Graham said. “I thought we let them dictate how we were going to play. Normally, we don’t do that. We play based on our defense. It was more like an old man boxing match.

“We just had to find a way to win. People expect us to win by 40 or 50 points every game and that just isn’t going to happen.”

The Tigers led 9-8 after a sloppy first quarter for both teams and 20-17 at halftime.

The Mohawks’ offense sputtered in the third quarter, which allowed the visitors to take control. TC took a 34-19 lead in the third with 2:54 to play. But WHS freshman Bella Larrison, who came off the bench to score eight points, scored near the end of the frame to pull WHS within seven, 34-27, before the fourth quarter.

Waldron (6-2) could not get over the hump in the final period, however, as shots would not fall, which included attempts at the free throw line.

“We had some one-and-ones that we needed to hit there at the end to keep it a one- or two-possession ball game,” Thomas said. “It took a lot out of us to play defense like we did in the first half. We weren't as sharp offensively, that is a testament to them (TC)."

Tigers’ junior forward Rylie Stephens scored a game-high 18 points. She was 6 of 6 from the line and hit two threes. TC (10 of 10) did not miss a free throw in the win. Waldron was 2 of 7.

“She hit shots and her teammates did a good job of getting her the ball,” Graham said of Stephens.

TC sophomore forward Tenleigh Phelps just missed a double-double with 12 points and nine rebounds. Sophomore guard Taylor Heath and sophomore center Bailey Stamper finished with six points.

Senior guard Morgan Wood led Waldron with 10 points. Senior Abby Adams and sophomore Lauryn Thomas added four points each. Adams also had four rebounds.

Kris Mills is the Sports editor of The Shelbyville News. Follow Kris on Twitter @KrisMills37.


Triton Central vs. Waldron

Final Score: 49-34 Triton Central

Player of Game: TC junior forward Rylie Stephens