Maryville defense forces 20 turnovers in 68-28 route of TKA


SEYMOUR – Maryville got off to a hot start early on Friday night and never looked back, outscoring The King’s Academy 18-5 in the first period, en route to a 40-point, 68-28 win.

The Rebels forced 20 TKA turnovers, turning many into points, while only committing three turnovers in the contest.

“When your defense has that much pressure it ignites your offense and being able to do that really got us going and got us feeling good about the game,” Maryville coach Wes Lambert said after the game. “When you feel good, you play good. I’m proud of our guys, the way they battled defensively and that’s been our challenge all year and has kind of been our identity and you could see it tonight.”

Maryville’s Eli Owensby gave the Rebels an early 3-0 lead on a three-pointer, but TKA would answer back, as Harrison Rollins made a three of his own to tie the score at 3-3.

Harrison Rollins

TKA’s Harrison Rollins (15) looks to drive to the basket during the Lions’ 68-28 loss to Maryville on Friday night. The senior finished the game with nine points. Photo by Brian Hamilton

The Rebels then would proceed to go on a 13-0 run, which was capped by an Alex Akard layup that gave Maryville a 16-3 lead.

Luke Jones would finally end the Rebels’ run when he scored on an alley-oop layup with 2:14 left in the first quarter.

Maryville would take a commanding 18-5 lead into the second quarter.

Rollins went to the line early in the second period and sank a pair of free throws to pull TKA to within 21-7, but a 14-0 run by Maryville would give the Rebels a 35-7 lead after Dylan Thompson scored on a fast break layup.

Back-to-back baskets by Colby Cogdill would cut the TKA deficit to 35-11, but the Lions would find themselves trailing by 30 late in the first half.

Cogdill hit a jumper with 23 seconds remaining in the first half, sending TKA to halftime facing a 44-15 deficit.

TKA’s Landon Tucker opened the third quarter with a three-pointer to make the score 45-18 and Braden Holliman was fouled while shooting a three on the next Lions possession. Holliman would make 2-of-3 foul shots, trimming the deficit to 47-20 with 5:10 remaining in the third.

Will Jones, who went 6-for-6 shooting on the night, nailed a three from the left corner to put Maryville ahead 57-23 with just over two minutes left in the period. The freshman would hit another triple just before the third quarter buzzer to send the Rebels to the final period leading 62-25.

With a running clock in the fourth quarter, Jones continued to make his presence felt for Maryville, sinking two more jumpers to extend the Rebels’ lead to 68-27 with just over two minutes left in the game.

Will Jones

Maryville’s Will Jones (10) goes up for a jumper during Maryville’s 68-28 win over TKA on Friday night. The freshman finished with 16 points on 6-of-6 shooting. Photo by Brian Hamilton

“Will is continuing to grow as a basketball player,” Lambert said of the freshman guard. “He’s shown how successful he can be on the football field, starting as our quarterback for the varsity. The best part about Will is that he’s going to do everything you ask, he’s a ‘yes sir’, ‘no sir’ guy and he knows every position. He runs the guard for us in practice, but he’ll know exactly what our post players are supposed to do, and as a freshman, that’s special. That makes him different, and to see him have success — you cheer for guys like that.”

TKA’s Will Rhoton would split a pair of free throws with under one minute remaining, but that would be all she wrote, as Maryville would come away with a resounding 68-28 road win.

The win clinches the season sweep for Maryville, as the Rebels defeated TKA 78-41 at home on November 30.

Maryville’s Braydon Hazelbaker led all scorers with 17 points, while Will Jones finished with 16 for the Rebels. Jonathan Woodlee also scored in double-figures for Maryville, adding 11.

TKA did not have any players to finish in double figures scoring, but both Harrison Rollins and Colby Cogdill finished with nine points each.

Maryville (12-5) will host Bearden (18-3) in a district contest on Tuesday, January 9, as the Rebels look to go to 2-0 in the district, while Bearden looks to bounce back from it’s only region loss to West on December 15.

“We played a district game last night against Hardin Valley (63-52 win) and we have district games against Bearden and William Blount this week, which are two really good teams,” Lambert said. “Any time you put a game in between (district games) like that, you worry, and TKA does a great job and their coaching staff is phenomenal, so I knew we were going to have to get after them defensively. That’s something you can control every night, in your level of intensity on the defensive end, and it was good to see it.”

The King’s Academy (4-13) holds a 2-2 record in the district and will battle district foe Lakeway Christian (9-3) who has an unblemished 4-0 district record on Tuesday night.

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