Second half sinks Cyclones

Katie Brickman
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Toilers win physical game

The Peacock Toilers and the Central Cyclones will be healing a lot of bumps and bruises over the Christmas break.

Spencer Barrett of the Peacock Toilers drives to the net while trying to push past Brandt Thul of the Central Cyclones during senior boys basketball action on Tuesday evening. Times-Herald photo by Katie Brickman

By Katie Brickman

The two senior boys basketball teams played a high intensity, very emotional and physical game on Tuesday evening.

“I think both teams are feeling it, but the kids competed very hard,” said Bryan Adams, head coach of the Toilers. “We wouldn’t expect anything else.”

The Cyclones faded in the second half as the Toilers cruised to a 96-54 victory.

“I thought we played a great first half. We were lax a little bit at the start of the second quarter, but then we picked it up before half time. We were happy with that,” said Leigh Pethick, coach for the Cyclones.

It was a decent start to the game, as Central trailed by 16 points at the half, but it was their second half that sunk them.

“Coach (Troy) Setter and I just weren’t too happy with the effort. It just seemed like our guys laid off in the second half,” said Pethick. “They didn’t work as hard as they did in the first and it showed against a great team like Peacock.”

The Cyclones were delivered a big blow to their team when veteran Dax Whitehead collided hard with another teammate in the second quarter and struggled to get off the floor under his own power. He was held out for the rest of the game for precautionary reasons.

“Once Dax Whitehead went out, I think they lost a big threat inside,” said Adams. “With that being said, I think we played good team defence and I think we worked hard on communication and moving.”

The Toilers were strong on defence and forced the Cyclones to make errors and throw the ball away. That communication and tight defence allowed the Toilers to move up the floor quickly on offence.

“I thought the second half, defensively, we played really well and that allowed us to get out and run the ball,” said Adams. “Offensively, we have a lot of kids that can shoot the ball. We talked all year that we can score, but we have to make sure we take care of the defensive end.”

Ryder Epoch and Eric Forbes were lights out, including at the three-point arc, scoring 25 points and 21 points, respectively.

Throughout the second half, the Cyclones appeared to struggle to get anything going offensively. They couldn’t penetrate into the paint and if they did, Peacock was aggressive at trying to strip the ball away from them.

“We just lost focus. Nothing seemed to click in the second half, that’s for sure,” said Pethick. “Having said that, we know where we need to be. That is not a bad thing.”

Daniel Holzer had a team high 12 points for the Cyclones and Aidan Saladana added 11 points in the loss.

“Aidan played hard even though he didn’t make a lot of shots, but his touch will come. I am happy with his play,” said Pethick. “I thought Daniel did a good job handling the ball and drew a lot of fouls and was aggressive with taking it to the basket.”

In junior boys basketball action from Monday, Peacock Green defeated Central 67-40. Stephen Holzer had 17 points for Peacock and Dez Henrickson had 10 points for Central.

Follow me on Twitter @katiebrickman.

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