FRANKLIN FURNACE — Tanner Kimbler is back … and in a big way.
The facts are that Green (6-5, 3-3 SOC I) scored 90 points Friday evening and the senior guard returned to the Bobcats’ lineup. Put simply, that is no coincidence.
By halftime, Kimbler had 22 points in Friday’s 90-46 drubbing of Symmes Valley in SOC I action. He finished with a game-high 28 alongside five rebounds and five assists.
“He comes in and opens it up for everybody,” Green coach Dirk Hollar said of Kimbler. “He opens it up for all of his teammates. I know a lot of the kids aren’t used to playing without him. I thought Tayte Carver had the best game of his season. When he came out of the locker room [after the game], I asked him if he was waiting on Tanner to come back to do so. He said, ‘Yep.’”
With Kimbler out due to injury, the Bobcats’ offense sometimes struggled to put the ball in the basket. Obviously, that wasn’t at all a problem in their latest outing — the team shot 38-of-62.
“We didn’t have a 3-point threat, we didn’t have a great ball handler and we were down a defender. So it’s nice having him back in the lineup,” Hollar said. “He does so much more than shoot 3’s. He can drive, he can dish … tonight looked like how we played against Coal Grove and we haven’t looked like that since our first game.”
While Kimbler was busy claiming both nets at his own, the Bobcats’ defense was busy forcing turnovers and turning those into transition points. Green forced 17 turnovers on the night.
“Symmes Valley had two of their best players out. I don’t that would’ve made the difference but it would’ve been a lot closer tonight,” Hollar said. “We knew we were going to go zone … put our three guards up top and leave our two bigs down low,” Hollar said. “I thought at the beginning, [Symmes Valley] did a good job of overloading. We didn’t notice that right away but once we took that away, I thought our defense was where it needed to be.”
Tale of the tape
Rightfully so, Kimbler got the scoring started just 13 seconds into the action before Symmes Valley (4-5, 2-4 SOC I) answered with 6:24 left in the first quarter. Sampson then went on an offensive tear, scoring five times in the first quarter while pacing the Bobcats to a 22-14 lead after one.
In the second, it was Kimbler’s turn to do the same as he scored at the 6:49, 4:58 and 4:02 marks to give Green a 36-24 lead. Alongside Sampson, the duo catapulted Green to a 54-33 lead at halftime behind a combined 35 points.
That was a lead the Vikings could never recover from.
The Bobcats led at all stops, 74-39 after three, before sealing the deal on a 44-point victory.
Following Kimbler was Carver with 20 points and six rebounds while Sampson followed with a double-double, tallying 19 points and 19 rebounds.
For Symmes Valley, Drew Scherer led the way with 13 points and and five rebounds while Alec Carpenter posted 13 points of his own alongside four boards. Josh Ferguson also chipped in, scoring six points and and grabbing six rebounds.
What’s on tap
Green gets back to action Tuesday evening, traveling to Notre Dame in conference play.
“We’re on the road the next three games,” Hollar said. “Notre Dame is going to play hard. Then we go to Clay, who played us tough earlier in the season, and then it’s Webster and Eastern. But I already told our guys, it’s one game at a time. We just have to take care of business.”
BOYS BASKETBALL FINAL: Green 90, Symmes Valley 46.@tanner_kimbler (G): 28 points, 5 rebounds, 5 assists
G. Sampson (G): 19 points, 19 rebounds
Tayte Carver (G): 20 points, 6 rebounds
— Derrick Webb (@dw1509) January 5, 2019
Symmes Valley: 14-19-6-7 — 46
Green: 22-32-20-16 — 90
Symmes Valley: 20-53 FG, 0-2 FT, 4-17 3pt., 22 rebounds (Ferguson 6), 17 turnovers, 11 assists (Turner 4). Scoring: Scherer 13, Carpenter 13, Smathers 8, Ferguson 6, Brammer 4, Wilson 2.
Green: 38-62 FG, 8-16 FT, 6-17 3pt., 39 rebounds (Sampson 19), 7 turnovers, 17 assists (Kimbler 5). Scoring: Kimbler 28, Carver 20, Sampson 19, Z. Huffman 6, Hensley 6, E. Huffman 4, Blizzard 3, Otworth 2.
Reach Derrick Webb at (740) 353-3101 ext. 1930, by email at firstname.lastname@example.org, or on Twitter @dw1509.