Edwards County wins Turkey Tourney
Lions pounce on Bison with 17-0 run, hold off late rally for 74-60 win
Gallatin County romps past winless Cisne, 75-45
GRAYVILLE – The Edwards County Lions are off to a very good start to their season and, thanks to a big run at the end of the second quarter and the beginning of the third, they are now Grayville Turkey Tournament champions.

Getting a strong performance from their young backcourt early their veteran frontcourt at the end, the Lions improved their record to 3-0 to begin the season following a 74-60 victory over the host Bison in front of a large crowd on Wednesday night.

Six-foot-five sophomore guard/forward Justin Wallace topped all scorers with 25-points, including six of the nine made 3-pointers by Coach Russ Gerlach's club.

Six-foot-one sophomore guard Cade Schnicker added 23-points as he hit the other three treys for Edwards County.

“They (Wallace and Schnicker) both are good shooters and they play a lot of basketball. They are still young but they can flat out shoot,” said Coach Gerlach. “Wallace has really shot the ball well the last two nights.”

The 17-0 scoring march turned a 23-20 Edwards County lead into a 40-20 bulge.

Although the hosts made a big rally in the fourth quarter, Edwards County never let the Bison get back in the game as Grayville saw its season and tournament mark fall to 1-2.

Not unlike a baseball closer, the Lions slammed the door shut in the final minutes with a “light's out” performance.

Forced to foul late in the contest, Grayville sent the Lions to the charity stripe 20-times in the final eight minutes.

Led by Schnicker, Edwards County made 17 of the tosses. Schnicker was 9-of-10 in the quarter, 12-of-14 overall.

Championships are usually won by the team that executes the best in the final crunch time moments.

Edwards County survived a Grayville storm to wear the crown.

Grayville got 19-points from senior forward Kase Robinson and 13 and 12-points respectively from seniors Grant Leavens and Wyatt Hatcher.

Coach Brian Hucker also got eight points from senior Brandon Rhodes.

However when they needed stops, especially in the middle part of the game, they couldn't keep Edwards County from making their move.

Six-foot sophomore Cade Rivers of Edwards County scored just three points on the night.

But they turned out to be the spark that got the Lions on their eventual championship roll.

He took a lob pass in the lane and his bucket turned into a conventional three-point play as he was fouled by Grayville's Marcus Risley.

This made it 26-20 with 2:04 left before halftime.

A rebound basket by Nathaniel Schmittler, the 6-foot-5 senior forward who ended up with 15-points on the night, and a fast break score by Wallace with just :05 left in the second quarter got the lead to double-digits at 30-20 at the break.

Edwards County didn't cool off offensively during intermission as they fired up their crowd during a 2:14 stretch to open the third quarter by nailing a pair of long range bombs.

Both Wallace and Schnicker dialed it up from behind the arc and another offensive put back by Schmittler forced a Grayville time out at 38-20 with 5:46 left.

During this stretch, Edwards County forced three of Grayville's 16-turnovers.

Another Schmittler bucket down low and the lead reached its peak at 40-20.

To the host's credit they didn't waiver as they put together a rally that nearly forced a tie score.

Robinson hit one of his two 3-pointers in the game to help the Bison start a run.

The run in the third quarter for Grayville was 12-2 with a fast break score Rhodes and inside bucket by senior John Reeves.

Reeves score made it 42-32.

But a 3-pointer from the top of the circle by Wallace closed the frame with the Lions up 13.

Grayville got as close as three points in the final quarter, only to see Edwards County answer each call.

A 15-3 burst to open the final eight minutes got Grayville within one possession.

Three-pointers by Robinson, Reeves and senior guard Aaron Davis closed the margin to just 48-45.

But after a 3-pointer by Wallace and then a conventional three-point play by Robinson made it 51-48, the Bison ran out of championship steam.

Edwards County scored the game's next seven points to get the lead back up to more of a comfort level.

“Finally they (Grayville) had to go out and guard them two (Wallace, Schnicker) then we were able to get the ball inside better,” said Coach Gerlach. “We were able to take better care of the basketball late and make some free throws.”

Then the parade to the foul line began as Grayville was forced into action.

Edwards County made its next nine free throws as Grayville would get not closer than seven points the rest of the way.

The Lions hit 5-of-6 from the line to lock up the title.

After opening the game on a 6-0 run and leading by as many as seven in the opening stanza, the Lions never trailed in the match up of long-time rivals on the hardwood.

Grayville hit just 20-of-54 shots from the floor, only 5-of-18 from the 3-point line.

They did hit 15-of-18 free throws, with Robinson hitting 9-of-11.

Although they held a 29-26 rebounding edge, Coach Hucker's club couldn't overcome their foul issues with Edwards County punishing them from the line.

Coach Gerlach saw his unbeaten squad take care of business in all facets; hitting 22-of-43 overall, and 9-of-18 from 3-point land.

They committed 14-turnovers, but Grayville was unable to capitalize.

The two teams will meet again on Tuesday night on the same floor in their annual regular season matchup.

“We had a couple of stretches in the game where we didn't rebound very well and we turned it over too much and it seemed like they happened at the same time. But we got to where we could take care of the basketball and rebound better. And then we made the free throws down the stretch,” said Coach Gerlach.

Edwards County

Edwards County (74)
– Schnicker 1 3 12-14 23, Blake 1 0 4-4 6,Wallace 2 6 3-4 25, M. Schmittler 0 0 0-2 0, N. Schmittler 7 0 1-3 15, Rivers 1 0 1-1 3, Columbia 0 0 0-0 0, Clodfelter 1 0 0-0 2, Wiseman 0 0 0-0 0, Buckman 0 0 0-0 0.
2FG-13, 3FG-9, FT-21-28, PF-19.

Grayville (60) – Davis 0 2 0-0 6, Robinson 2 2 9-11 19, Reeves 1 0 0-0 2, Leavens 0 0 0-0 0, 4 1 2-3 13, Hatcher 4 0 4-4 12, Lingafelter 0 0 0-0 0, Rhodes 4 0 0-0 8, Armstrong 0 0 0-0 0, Risley 0 0 0-0 0.
2FG-15, 3FG-5, FT-15-18, PF-25.

Fouled Out – Davis, Robinson, Hatcher - Grayville.
Technical Fouls – None.

The Hawks flew out of the gate and for a “wire-to-wire” win over Cisne in the early game Wednesday night as Coach Doug Miller's team improved to 2-1 on the season and in the event.

After going 0-5 last season at the larger Grayville Turkey Tournament last winter, Gallatin County took no prisoners with an early 12-0 run setting the tone.

Gallatin County got 27-points from senior guard Seth Ramsey and 26-points from sophomore Audie Goebel as they never trailed in handing Cisne its third loss in succession.

“Seth had a great three games, but Edwards County guarded him better last night and no one stepped up. I challenged our guys to step up tonight and Goebel and Rubio both scored some points for us,” said Coach Miller. “He (Ramsey) is going to be keyed on every game so my kids need to step up each night.”

Using a full-court press early while crashing the offensive glass at will, the Hawks put the game on ice with a 15-0 start of the second quarter.

After leading at the end of one, 26-15, Coach Miller's club never let up as they pushed the margin to 41-15.

“Last night our press was terrible against Edwards County and we knew that we had to make some adjustments and we did,” said Coach Miller. “We wanted to go up-and-down the floor with them. We didn't want to let them make it a half-court game.”

Coach Adam Ellis' Running Lions got ran out of the gym as they trailed 50-27 at the break.

Gallatin County out boarded Cisne 28-21. However the Hawks crashed the offense glass early, getting five extended possessions in the first quarter that resulted in a big early advantage.

Following Ramsey and Goebel, Gallatin County received 11-points from senior Luis Rubio.

Goebel nailed four 3-pointers in the game for Gallatin County and he hit two of them in the first quarter.

When his second one found the mark with 3:39 left, the Hawks were in business at 19-5.

One of the only two Cisne players who hit for double-digits in scoring was 5-foot-9 junior Jordan Hosick.

He nailed two 3-pointers from the left side of the floor in part of the Lions best run of the evening.

When his second one found the mark, Coach Miller took a timeout with the Hawks up 19-13.

Senior Jared Taylor of Cisne added 10-points with seven coming in the opening half.

After the halftime break, some teams with large leads will let up some.

This didn't didn't happen on this night as Gallatin County kept pounding away at the Lions.

Ramsey scored seven straight points for the Hawks in the third quarter. When his teammates Rubio and Goebel added a bucket and a pair of free throws to close out the stanza, Gallatin County led 61-35 heading to the fourth.

Reserves swung the mops for most of the final eight minutes.

Gallatin County was 27-of-53 overall, with 8-of-17 from the arc.

The Hawks forced Cisne into 22-turnovers, including nine in the second quarter as they ended the drama early.

Cisne, when they weren't turning it over, were just 16-of-37 overall, 5-of-11 from the 3-point line.

They managed just four offensive rebounds compared to Gallatin County's 12.

Gallatin County will play at Eldorado on December 2 while Cisne heads to Dieterich on Tuesday night.

“The Taylor kid had 22-points last night in the fourth quarter (45 total) against Grayville and I kept telling the kids he can't do that tonight against us,” said Coach Miller. “We are disappointed we didn't play well against Edwards County but 2-1 one is better than 0-5, which turned into 0-6 last year.”

In both games on Wednesday night, there were zero lead changes as both Edwards County and Gallatin County led all the way.

Gallatin County
Gallatin County (74) – Ramsey 7 2 7-11 27, Rubio 5 0 1-3 11, Goebel 5 4 4-4 26, Prince 0 1 0-1 3, Duvall 1 0 0-0 2, A. Walters 0 0 1-2 1, Rushing 0 1 0-0 3, Wargel 0 0 0-0 0, Hish 0 0 0-1 0, Reeder 0 0 0-0 0.
2FG-19, 3FG-8, FT-13-22, PF-18.

Cisne (45) – Taylor 2 1 3-4 10, Hosick 1 3 0-0 11, Levi 1 0 0-0 2, Hilliard 1 0 0-0 2, Atwood 0 0 0-0 0, Martinez 2 1 0-0 7, Farris 0 0 0-0 0, Stopher 1 0 1-1 3, Tannahill 3 0 3-6 9, Burton 0 0 1-1 1.
2FG-11, 3FG-5, FT-8-12, PF-19.

Fouled Out – None.
Technical Fouls – None.