LITTLE AXE – It happened for just the third time in Bryant Edwards' coaching career Tuesday night...40-plus points by one of his players
Tecumseh's Kainan Ryan pumped in a whopping 44 points while knocking down 10 3-point baskets, including seven in the third quarter, as the Savages rolled to a 98-46 rout of host Little Axe.
Ryan was an amazing 14-of-20 from the field and connected on all four of his free shots in the contest.
“I had a kid (Micah Lena) score 65 (while coaching) at New Lima against Dewar in 2018,” said Edwards. “Kainan shot the ball really, really well...seven 3s in the third quarter. He had a great night.”
The victory by Tecumseh made it a sweep after the Lady Savages blitzed Little Axe in the varsity opener, 56-34.
TECUMSEH 98, LITTLE AXE 46 (Boys)
After falling behind 2-0, the Savages made it a blowout early as they responded with a 14-0 run and then went on to a 26-8 advantage by the end of the first quarter.
Six of those eight Indian points in the first period came off free throws as Tecumseh displayed its dominance.
Marcus Fuell, who finished with 10 points for the Savages, hit his team's first bucket. Jacob Green followed with a free throw. Fuell scored off an Emet Longhorn feed and Ryan drained two free shots to make it 7-2.
Then a Longhorn basket after a steal and assist from Green, along with back-to-back buckets by Ryan, off assists from Green and Longhorn, quickly pushed the Tecumseh advantage to 14-2 with 4:41 left in the first.
The Savages, 3-0 on the season, ultimately cruised on to a 46-20 halftime cushion before Ryan really heated up in the third quarter. He was 8-of-10 from the floor in that period alone with seven of those makes coming from outside the arc. Ryan and the rest of the starters did not play in the fourth quarter after building an 80-40 lead.
Jose Lugo added eight points off the bench for Tecumseh while three other reserves – KD Jackson, Jacob Trice and Jamal Fair – chipped in six points each.
Jeremy Rogers paced Little Axe with 18 points and Julian Martinez tacked on 10.
The Savages were helped by 22 Indian turnovers and Tecumseh dominated the boards by a 41-26 count.
TECUMSEH 56, LITTLE AXE 34 (Girls)
Some relentless half-court defense and the scoring of Tawni Billy ignited the Lady Savages to the 22-point rout.
Billy poured in 25 points while going 7-of-13 from the floor and 9-of-13 from the line. She missed her first three free shots but finished 9-of-10 from the charity stripe the rest of the way.
“Tawni is playing outstanding right now and shooting the ball well,” said Tecumseh head coach Eldon Gentry II.
Kenzli Warden, who recorded three steals in the game, also reached double figures in scoring with 10. Taylor Mansell and Katelyn LaFrance were next with five points apiece.
The first quarter was a fairly tight fit with the Lady Savages leading 11-8. Tecumseh led 18-13 before going on a 12-0 run, fueled by its ability to get hands in the passing lanes and create steals.
“Once we got going, we got going,” Gentry said. “In the second and third quarters, we outscored them 38-10. We put pressure on in the half-court, which led to turnovers and easy buckets on the other end.”
Billy executed an old-fashioned 3-point play, off an Emily Bingham steal, to ignite the 12-0 spurt. Seconds later, Billy hit a layup after a steal again and assist by Bingham to make it 23-13. Bingham's basket off a Mansell pass, a LaFrance 3-point jumper and a Mansell score via LaFrance steal and feed made it 30-13 with 52 seconds remaining in the half.
After establishing the 32-14 halftime lead, Tecumseh extended the advantage with a 17-4 third quarter which featured a 10-0 spurt to close out the period. Billy tallied six of those points during that spree off four free shots and a basket. Schantel Evans had a basket to trigger the run and Warden scored off a put-back during that span.
Both Tecumseh teams will be participating in the First United Bank Classic at Bethel High School on Thursday.
The Lady Savages will meet Silo at 4 p.m. while the Savages will do battle with Perkins-Tryon at 5:30 p.m.