Rangers Defeat Roughriders

New Knoxville's Nathan Tinnerman (14) fights through St. Marys' Braeden Dunlap in the second quarter of Friday's non-conference boys' basketball game.
Sports Editor

After the final buzzer had sounded and high fives were given to both teams for playing a good game, the New Knoxville Rangers boys’ basketball team ran to their locker room, exuberant about their 51-46 non-conference win against St. Marys on Friday.

“I have to give St. Marys credit, they are very resilient and they are still trying to find their peak,” said Rangers coach Josh Lisi. “We knew tonight that it was going to be a good game for us. We look at them as a rival.

“Our team has improved on being mentally tough and staying in it and they did a heck of a job tonight.”

Friday’s game was somewhat reminiscent of last year’s game.

In last season’s matchup, the Roughriders had one last chance to win the game — after Nick Topp had the ball at the top of the three-point line and attacked the open lane as time wound down, his layup at the basket gave the Rangers a 51-50 lead with just .6 seconds left — but came up short on a Derek Jay three-point attempt.

It was a similar situation on Friday when the Roughriders closed the gap to three when Drew Jacobs connected on a three-pointer to pull the game to 49-46 with 23.1 seconds left.

After a pair of free throws from Nick Thobe, the Roughriders could not capitalize, missing their next three shots to end the game.

The Roughriders made several comebacks throughout the game, much like what they did against Van Wert two weeks prior.

But just like that Van Wert game, St. Marys could not finish.

The Rangers opened the game with a 9-2 lead — with seven of those coming from Topp.

After a 14-8 first-quarter score in favor of New Knoxville, the Riders went a 5-0 run to open the second quarter, bringing the score to 14-13 with 7:00 remaining and eventually tying the game at 17-17 to conclude a 9-3 run.

But St. Marys finished the half going 0-of-5 from the field, scoring just one point while New Knoxville had key shots from Nathan Tinnerman in the paint and a three-pointer from Jonah Lageman to give the Rangers a 22-18 halftime lead.

For the full story, grab Saturday's print edition of The Evening Leader.