Tolman freshmen fall in state final
After superb playoff run, Tigers beaten by Bishop Hendricken
JOHNSTON — The Tolman Tigers fell 56-40 to the Bishop Hendricken Hawks in the 2019 Freshmen Basketball Championship game on Saturday afternoon at Johnston High School.
The top scorers in the contest were Ryan Osley, a forward from Hendricken, and Tolman guard Jaylyn Baptista, who each tallied 16 points. Second in scoring were the Hawks’ Brandyn Durand and Jayden Weeden, who scored 13 apiece each, while Tolman’s Michel Cheaye finished third in total scoring with 12 points.
With the defeat, the talented Tigers conclude the season with an overall record of 14-2 while Bishop Hendricken finishes at 19-1.
“We had a great season all year,” Tolman coach Drew Bernard said. “We’ve got a great group of players, a great group of boys. They’re just fun to be around. I’ve just enjoyed the team the whole time.”
Tolman’s only other loss came to Mount Pleasant and the Tigers won the NK Winter Classic Tournament.
“Honestly, we’re going to be back,” Bernard said. “They’re freshmen. We’ve got so much basketball left in us. So, I’m just really happy and excited about the future.”
The Hawks scored the first bucket of the game when point guard Jack Graham earned a steal and dished to Weeden for a fast break layup.
Then, Tolman’s Baptista made a bucket and knotted the game at two.
Next, the Hawks took a 7-4 advantage when Evan Dion buried a shot from downtown.
Hendricken upped its advantage to 14-6 with a little under ten minutes to play in the half after Osley made an old-fashioned three-point play, and then, Weeden and Durand each scored a bucket.
Over the next minute and a half, Tolman got two deuces from Cheaye, a 3-ball from Baptista, and a putback from Cheaye during a 7-0 spurt and got within one.
But, the Hawks answered that with a 10-1 run, which started when Weeden put back his own miss and ended with Graham sinking a fast break layup, which gave the Hawks a 24-15 lead with 4:06 left.
With two minutes left, Hendricken’s Durand scored with a putback, and then Graham dished to Durand for an alley-oop layup, which ballooned the Hawks advantage to 14.
Hendricken took a 30-18 buffer into the break. Tolman started the second half with a 6-0 run, on two baskets from Cheaye, and another from Baptista to get within six.
But, Hendricken got four points from Osley after that, and went up by ten, with 13 minutes remaining in the game.