Tyner still un­de­feated with 69-52 win at CSAS

Rams re­main un­beaten with 69-52 vic­tory

Chattanooga Times Free Press - - FRONT PAGE - BY STEPHEN HARGIS STAFF WRITER

Many of the names have changed, but the ex­pec­ta­tions have not. De­spite re­turn­ing just three play­ers from last year’s state-tour­na­ment bas­ket­ball team, Tyner is off to yet an­other fast start, cap­ping a span of three wins in seven days with an im­pres­sive 69-52 win Fri­day night at Arts & Sci­ences.

“We’ve got some young guys who are very coach­able and have bought in to what we’re teach­ing,” Rams sec­ond-year coach E’Jay Ward said. “We knew we had some tal­ented un­der­class­men com­ing up, but we just hadn’t seen them in var­sity ac­tion. Sev­eral of those guys have stepped up al­ready.

“The way we press on de­fense, we have to have a good ro­ta­tion of guys com­ing in to keep fresh legs on the floor. We’re scrappy and we’ve got good size — that’s our strengths. Bas­ket­ball is a ver­ti­cal sport, so we want to use our length and our speed to wear peo­ple down.”

With four play­ers stand­ing 6-foot-4 or taller, Tyner’s length and pres­sure de­fense be­gan to take an early toll on the Patriots. Each of the Rams’ first three field goals came off CSAS turnovers, and Tyner grabbed the lead for good mid­way through the first quar­ter.

“Their length re­ally both­ered us, es­pe­cially early on,” said Patriots coach Mark Dra­goo, whose team com­mit­ted 29 turnovers. “They’re big and phys­i­cal, but this is the type of game that will only make us bet­ter. We’re a Class A team with a lot of po­ten­tial and for­tu­nately Tyner is in dou­ble-A, so we won’t have to worry about see­ing them or any­body like them in the post­sea­son.

“We have to elim­i­nate the turnovers and make our free throws, but we were close enough at times that we should be en­cour­aged with what we could be.”

Tyner (5-0), which has won each of its games by 14-plus points, closed out the first half on a 6-0 run to build a dou­ble-digit lead that it main­tained through­out the sec­ond half.

Kobe Smith scored 15 of his team-high 22 points in the first and third quar­ters as Tyner be­gan both halves strong. Solomon Bridge­man added 11 for the Rams, who had 11 play­ers score. CSAS (4-2) was led by Cahlib Edwards’ game-high 25 points, and Troy Pride added 16.

Con­tact Stephen Hargis at

STAFF PHOTO BY DOUG STRICK­LAND

Tyner’s Xavier Fisher drives to the bas­ket ahead of Arts & Sci­ences’ Cahlib Edwards dur­ing Fri­day’s game at CSAS. Tyner won 69-52.

STAFF PHOTO BY DOUG STRICK­LAND

Tyner bas­ket­ball coach E’jay Ward di­rects play­ers dur­ing their game Fri­day at Chattanooga School for the Arts and Sci­ences.

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