By Lenny Sementi
Seniors Jacob Kibler and Ben Dixon were all smiles following a blow out 68-42 road win over Arcola this past Friday the third in a retro version of the Cola Wars. The Riders were celebrating a team from 1953 sporting throwback uniforms and Tuscola coach Justin Bozarth went all in getting donations from Ford Of Tuscola to adorn the Warriors in throwbacks of their own patterned after the Elite Eight Warriors team from 1989.
Dixon reached double-digits scoring ten points on four of six from the field including a pair of threes while Kibler was his usual self-doing the dirty work. The third year varsity player grabbed a team-high seven rebounds, including three on the offensive end two of which he immediately deposited back into the hoop on his way to six points. Tuscola owned the boards securing nine more rebounds than the Riders and also shared the ball seeing six players donate at least two assists to the cause posting fourteen assists total in the long time rivalry game.
Dixon and junior wing Cole Cunningham hit early threes helping the Warriors to an early 8-3 advantage and sophomore guard Jalen Quinn hit back to back buckets and found Kibler on a runner handing coach Boz a 16-6 lead after one. Cunningham accounted for nine points in the game on four of eight from the field. Quinn hit the first two baskets of the second and Donovan Chester answered a Rider three with one of his own running the lead to 23-9 two minutes into the second period. Dixon hit another three and Ben Teizzi found Quinn under the hoop for a basket late in the half putting the Warriors in front by ten points 33-23 at the break.
Quinn who led the way offensively scoring a game high twenty-two points finished off an old fashioned three to open third fueling a 10-4 run. Then Grant Hardwick and Nick Williams kept the status quo each stepping outside the arc for threes pushing Tuscola’s advantage to 50-35 entering the fourth and final frame. Kibler put one back and Williams found a ten-footer allowing Bozarth to empty the bench with just over four minutes left in the game.
Teizzi and Rohan Patel were tops in the scoring column for JV coach Jacob Hilgendorf scoring thirteen and fourteen points respectively in a 53-43 Warrior victory. James Boyd added nine points all coming in the pivotal fourth frame while Chester added six points and Haven Hatfield five points.