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January 23, 2014

Tigers bounce back with consolation win

AMBER — After losing their opening round game by the narrowest of margins, Verden gained a bit of swagger back with a 41-33 win over Rush Springs in a boys’ consolation semifinal at the Grady County Tournament in Amber.

Tryston Morgan was up to his usual antics, leading the floor with 21 points, about half of Verden’s total. Save the third quarter, he was on all night, and the Redskins could hardly contain him.

Verden set the tone early. On a quiet night, Dustin Keil’s three pointer in the first quarter made him one of five players to get in the scorebook. Jace Jones sank a few close-range jumpers to help Rush Springs keep pace, but the multiple-threat offense of the Tigers had them up by five.

The Redskins were dealt a dagger in the second frame. Led by Morgan, Verden outscored Rush Springs by seven before the halftime break. Their explosive point guard scored eight points in the second frame alone, posing a threat at the top of the key and from the free throw line. Morgan’s contribution was a big reason why the Tigers found themselves up by 10 at the half.

Things slowed way down in the third. The Redskins hit back, but it was only a 7-4 quarter and did little to shift momentum. Cap Snow, who led Rush Springs with 12 points on the night, hit from long range to spark the short-lived Rush Springs dominance. Morgan ended it in the fourth, producing another one-man show with seven points.

The Redskins came back in a strong fourth quarter, despite the deficit being too much to handle. Snow hit another from beyond the arc to cut the lead to nine, and Jace Jones struck from way out in three point land to cut that deficit to just six with less than 30 seconds to go. Jones finished the night on seven points. It made for a more tense final moments, but the result had already been decided.

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