Tigers settle for second in Buffalo

Written by Muleskinner Staff

By SEAN McCARRELL
(BUFFALO, Mo., digitalBURG) – It was a tale of two halves Saturday night, as the Bolivar Liberators came from behind, using a barrage of three-point baskets, to knock off the Warrensburg Tigers 56-40 in the Buffalo Tournament championship game.
A low scoring first half saw Warrensburg in control much of the time. The teams traded turnovers and three pointers in the first quarter, and were tied at 11 at the end of the period.
The second quarter was dominated by defense, as much of the scoring for each team came from the free-throw line. The Tigers were able to grab their share of rebounds, even against Bolivar’s 6-foot-7-inch post player Evan Roberts. However, after a quality first half of play, the Tigers went to the locker room leading only by two, 24-22.
“We were able to knock down shots in the first half,” said Tigers head coach Chris Nimmo. “We came out with a lot of energy, but they went on a run to end the half, and went into the locker room with a little momentum and we didn’t.”
The Liberators of Bolivar came out firing on all cylinders in the second half, as guards Chance Rush and Coday Garrison buried three pointers to give Bolivar a 28-24 lead from which they would not look back.
The only points the Tigers scored in the third quarter came on a pair of free throws by sophomore Maurice Ingram. Bolivar continued to make shots from behind the arc, and lead Warrensburg 40-26 at the end of the third quarter, outscoring the Tigers 18-2 in the frame.
“It was all about energy,” Nimmo said. “They came out (in the second half) with a lot of energy and we didn’t.”
As far as the Liberators’ outside shooting in the period, Nimmo said, “We needed to be further out on them. They have kids that can shoot the ball, and when (Roberts] is catching the ball in as deep as he was able to and score, it’s going to be tough for us.”
With regard to his team’s offensive struggles in the third quarter, Nimmo talked about the pace of the game being disadvantageous to his team.
“That was too much of a half-court game for us,” he said. “We needed it to be much more of a full-court game.”
The fourth quarter was much the same for the Tigers, as Bolivar continued to knock down shots. The Liberators extended its lead to more than 20 in the frame, but the Tigers battled through to the end. Brady Roop sank two free throws with 0.1 seconds left in the game to make the score 56-40, which was the final.
The Tigers were lead in scoring by Dakota Jones, who finished as the only Warrensburg player in double-figures with 15. Kye Denker and Dalton Thompson each contributed six points.
The Tigers earned the second place trophy from the Buffalo Tournament, and will take their 2-1 record on the road Tuesday night, when they will travel to Pleasant Hill to take on the Roosters.