By JASON EPP
Leader & Times
TYRONE, Okla.— The Tyrone Bobcats busted out of the gate to start the game, and maintained the rest of the way to beat Turpin, 59-46.
Tyrone’s Nerlin Rivera set the tone for the game early with Tyrone leading 3-2. Rivera stole the ball on back-to-back possessions and turned both into easy baskets as the Bobcats started the game with a 12-2 run.
Tyrone continued to build their lead with steals and transition baskets to take a 21-7 lead by the end of the first quarter.
“Turned it over way too many times on the perimeter,” Cardinals coach Gary Wallace said. “Our ballhandling is still getting us, especially when we’re missing one.”
The one Turpin was missing was Jordan Lujan, the teams point guard and leading scorer, who was out with the flu.
“Lujan wasn’t here and I thought that was a big reason we were able to do what did,” Bobcats coach Clay Witt said. “They struggled at the guard position without him and we were able to take advantage of it with turnovers. Nerlin was very good, but was struggling on offense. I told him you can get offense out of your defense and he did that.”
Turpin did get under control in the second quarter, and was able to cut into the Bobcats big lead.
With Tyrone leading 25-11 early in the second quarter, Matt Young hit a pair of threes and Kyler Musgrave followed up with another to cut the Bobcats lead back to single digits (29-20).
Tyrone led 30-22 at the half.
Isaac Resendiz scored and got to the line at the end of the first half and again to start the second half. Both times he was unable to convert the 3-point play, but did get Turpin within seven to start the third.
Tyrone had a pair and-one opportunities early in the third, but were unable to convert either. Turpin was able to cut the lead to just six (38-32) after a basket by Davian Ratzlaff with 1:22 left in the third.
Then Rivera took over again, converting a three-point play, and then just seconds later turning another steal into a layup to put the Bobcats up 43-32 at the end of the third.
Tyrone stretched their lead to 16 early in the third. Turpin started to pound the ball inside to Musgrave and Resindez who were able to get to the foul line and convert.
“Ethan (Reese) got hurt and hit hurt us. They took advantage of that inside in the second half,” Witt said.
But the Cardinals were unable to get the necessary stops against the Bobcats who went on to win by 13.
“Matt shot it well to get us back in it and Kyler and Isaac did well when we got the ball inside to them,” Wallace said. “They’re tough to stop inside. When we adjusted the zone inside that helped us, but their quickness and our lack of it killed us on the perimeter.”
Nerlin Rivera led the Tyrone offense with 15 points, including seven in the first quarter run. Austin Pickering was 6 of 8 at the free throw line and had 14 points. Tanner Hurst added 12, and Willie Slater 11.
Kyler Musgrave led Turpin with 16, Isaac Resendiz 15, and Matt Young added 10.
Tyrone will travel to Keyes Friday. Turpin will be at No.1 Forgan.