WAVERLY – The Waverly Tigers were victorious over the Western Indians, 84-61, to win the Pike County Holiday Classic, Friday night in Waverly.
With the win the Tigers take their record to 7-1, gain confidence and capture back-to-back Pike County Holiday Classic championships. The loss drops Western to 5-3.
“It’s always important to come out and defend home court,” Waverly Head Coach Travis Robertson said. “It was a goal of ours, at the beginning of the season, to make sure we defended our championship.”
Waverly had four players reach double figures. Cade Marquez, who was named Tournament MVP, led all scorers with 26 points. Bailey Pennington added 14 points; Trey Rigsby had 11 and All-Tournament Team selection; and, Clayton Howell, chipped in with 10.
For Western, All-Tournament Team selection, Tanner Perdue tallied 24 points, Bryce Brewster had 17 points and Lane Brewster contributed 15 points to the cause.
In the first half, Waverly had built a 13-point lead at one-point, but Western chipped away and chipped away and with a Lane Brewster with under five seconds to go in the half the Waverly was down to four, 40-36.
“I knew, the coaching staff knew we weren’t going to be able to maintain that pace,” Western head coach Kyle Miller said. “Just with the lack of depth, being young hurts as well.”
Waverly came out in the second half and went on a tear. The up tempo offense and physical defense gave Western difficulties and through the first four and a half minutes of the third quarter the Tigers went on a 16-3 run , before Coach Miller called a timeout.
“For us to be able to come out when we played a game the night before and put up 80-some points, it goes to show we got the game going at our pace,” Robertson said. “The game was played up and down and that’s what we wanted.”
The break worked initially as Western cut the Waverly lead do a dozen with a Lane Brewster triple, but Pennington had the answer, for the Tigers, with a deep ball of his own to reestablish the Waverly lead. Once again Western went to work on the Tigers’ lead and to single digits at the end of quarter, until Jake Reed drilled a three ball at horn to put Waverly’s lead back at a dozen, 63-51, heading into the final stanza.
The Tigers continued to play with tempo and fire through the final eight minutes only allowing the Indians to score ten points in the fourth quarter. The Tigers put up twenty plus points for the third straight quarter to make final margin and capture the 2016 Pike County Holiday Classic Championship.