JEWELL – Heading into the new season, the Rams had to replace senior leader Nolan Schafer. Schafer seemed to be at the head of the Tinora offense for the past decade, but just four years, actually.
As the post holiday, post Big Game crowd filled the Tinora High School gymnasium, the Rams seemed to have a spark they’ve been missing for a few seasons.
Bryan started their season with a 47-44 win over GMC member Edgerton Friday night, the Golden Bears matched last seasons win total with the season opening victory.
Junior wingman Owen Ackerman, who played a majority at JV last season, supplied the Rams with their first two baskets courtesy of sweeping drives to the bucket. Ackerman would wind up with eight points for the game, but his slashing presence was noted throughout the contest.
Tinora’s leading scorer last season, Luke Harris, 12.6 PPG, also provided some scoring in the first quarter. Harris scored a team high seven in the quarter, including a left baseline buzzer beater from about 12 feet, giving the Rams a 13-7 lead after the initial quarter.
The second quarter started with an Ackerman drive and score, The Rams would have a very productive second quarter, scoring 20 points.
Senior Gavin Eckert supplied the Tinora offense with consecutive three pointers in the quarter from the top of the arch, increasing the Rams lead 28-14 with just over two minutes remaining in the half.
Eckert, despite missing the last two months of the football season, returned to the hardwood to provide high energy and intensity on defense to the Rams throughout the night.
Another junior, Aiden Rittenhouse, made his presence felt in the second stanza. Rittenhouse would score eight in the quarter, including the Rams second buzzer beater in as many quarters, this one came from the right corner for three to send Tinora to the locker room with a 33-16 halftime lead.
The Rams played nearly flawless in the initial half, shooting 67 percent (14-21) from the floor with just three turnovers in the half, while Bryan shot 41 percent (7-17) with 5 turnovers.
Bryan would start the quarter looking to cut into the Tinora lead, and the Golden Bears would make a run throughout the quarter.
Tinora would not find scoring as easy as they did in the first half, Bryan would limit the Tinora Rams to just seven third quarter points.
At the end of the third quarter, Tinora led Bryan 40-29. The Bryan Golden Bears would finish the final six minutes on an 11-2 run, cutting into the Rams 17 point halftime lead.
Tinora would look to capture the first half magic, but with the sluggish play by both teams over the final 12 minutes, the scoring would be difficult. Rough, hard nose defense by both teams and mounting fouls by both teams seemed at times to slow down the play in the final quarter to a crawl.
Tinora would hold the Golden Bears to just one point over the first five minutes of the final stanza, closing out a season opening 52-38 victory.
Each team would finish with nine turnovers. The Golden Bears did not make a three point shot during the contest, while the Rams would convert six threes.
The Higbea Embroidery Player of the Game would go to Rams senior, Gavin Eckert. Gavin with 13 points and tough defense throughout for Tinora. Unofficially, Gavin grabbed 12 rebounds.
Tinora starts the 2022-’23 season at 1-0. The Rams back in action on Friday 12/2 at home vs Delta, then Saturday night 12/3 at Napoleon,
Bryan drops to 1-1 and will host Wayne Trace on Friday, then Eastside on Saturday.
Missed the game, listen back to the call from Keith & Michael
Bryan 8 8 13 9 38
Tinora 13 20 7 12 52
JV Bryan 31-28
Rams – Friedrickson 16 points
Bryan – Bassett 11 points