FRANKLIN FURNACE – Finish Strong. That’s the new motto that the New Boston Tigers adopted after their home loss on Saturday night to White Oak, a game in which they led by twelve points at halftime.
“After the White Oak game,” said New Boston head coach Adam Cox. “We came up with a new slogan, that we’re going to ‘Finish Strong’. Every game, we’re going to finish stronger than we started. We’ve got to be more focused on what we have to do once we take a lead, to be able to expand on it.”
In their first game since adopting their new motto, the Tigers could not have executed the meaning of that motto better in their road win over Green on Tuesday night in Franklin Furnace, 75-57.
New Boston trailed Green after one quarter 16-13, but that would change about as quick as anyone could have expected. Gage Sampson had eight of his game high 29 points in the first quarter, and Tayte Carver finished the first with seven points for the Bobcats.
When the Tigers started forcing turnovers at a frantic pace due to their quickness and aggressiveness on the defensive end, those steals, and blocks turned into outlet passes and easy buckets on the offensive end.
“We were just able to create some turnovers,” said Cox. “We were able to get in the passing lanes, put some pressure on their guards. We really wanted them to feel the effects of not having Tanner (Kimbler), ball-handling wise. I thought Grady (Jackson) and Marcus (Saunders) played phenomenal tonight on both ends of the court.”
Cox is right. The freshman and junior guards applied a lot of pressure to the Green back court who was without their point guard in Kimbler and were able to wreak a lot of havoc defensively. In addition to their pest-like defensive efforts, the two guards combined for 33 points in a road conference win, something that isn’t exactly the easiest thing in the world to do.
As quick as New Boston was getting up and down the court, they were making the right pass and finding the open man. The Tigers outscored Green 50-26 in the second and third quarters combined to help propel them to what Cox believes is his biggest coaching win of his career.
“To win here, it’s my first win here as the New Boston coach,” said Cox while reliving the night’s events for his team. “This is the oldest gym in Southern Ohio, this and East. They’ve been here since the seventies. They’ve had a lot of great teams, and a lot of great teams on that floor. For you to come in here and win, with or without Kimbler, Green is one of the best teams coached by one of the best coaches. Dirk (Hollar) is awesome with his kids.”
The Bobcats were led in scoring by Sampson who had a monster night in the paint, scoring a game high 29, Carver finished with 14 points on the night, as well as Caden Blizzard who finished with six.
In addition to the efforts of Saunders and Jackson, New Boston was led in scoring by Kyle Sexton who finished with a team high 25 points and Tyler Caldwell who finished with 13, three of which came from a three in the first half that was a good two steps behind the three point line.
The week before Christmas doesn’t get any easier this Friday as the Tigers will head to Beaver to face the reigning SOC I champion Eastern Eagles in a battle of the undefeated teams in SOC play in the early stages of the season.
“One of the toughest places to play is Green, right up there on the list is Eastern,” said Cox. “Coach Barrick is going to have his team ready. (Evan) Leist and (Michael) Miller are two of the best players around. I have to get these young kids ready and have them mentally focused on playing Eastern on Friday. We need to let the chips fall and see where they stand, and hopefully we can get us another big road win.”
Green will travel to Latham on Friday to face the Western Indians to close out SOC I play in 2018.
FINAL: New Boston beats Green 75-57 in impressive fashion. Tigers put up 50 in the second and third quarter to get the SOC road victory. NB travels to Eastern on Friday in attempt to upend the reigning SOC I champs on their home court.#PDTsports
— Jacob Smith (@JacobSmithPDT) December 19, 2018
New Boston: 13-26-24-12 – 75
Green: 16-11-15-15 – 57
New Boston: 29 FGs, 4 3pts. (Jackson 2), 5/10 FTs. Scoring: Sexton 25, Jackson 17, Saunders 16, Caldwell 13, McKinley 4
Green: 24 FGs, 2 3pts. (Carver, Singleton 1) 3/9 FTs. Scoring: Sampson 29, Carver 14, Blizzard 6, Singleton 3, Otworth 3, Huffman 2
Reach Jacob Smith at (740) 353-3101 ext. 1930, by email at firstname.lastname@example.org, or on Twitter @JacobSmithPDT