Although no one is in tip-top basketball shape yet and several players are still playing football, the Tolar boys came out strong in their season debut, 78-52 victory over rival Lipan Tuesday night at Rattler Gym.
It was Tolar’s first game of the season, and several players still haven’t joined the team because they are still playing on the football team that was playing Gunter in the area round of the playoffs yesterday at press time. Only five of the Rattlers’ varsity players were available, so the rest were up from the JV.
Despite that, the Rattlers shot 50 percent as a team from the field overall, and outrebounded the Indians 34-25.
The Rattlers got 25 points from Jacob Phillips, plus 24 from Ty Johnston and 19 from Tyler Pruitt, respectively.
Tolar coach Kent Caruthers said the Rattlers got more than 30 points from their post players alone, and looked good overall.
“I thought we shot the ball well,” Caruthers said. “We took good shots and penetrated well. Our post men played well and gave us a lot of second-chance opportunities.
“The effort was great. We made some bad decisions at times. The Lipan kids just don’t make a lot of mistakes. They’re coached well and they play hard.”
Lipan (0-2) was led on offense by Colby Clinton with 14 points, and Hunter Hightower with 12.
The Rattlers made 27 of 54 from the floor, going 9-of-16 from beyond the 3-point arc.
“Tolar really shot the ball well,” said Lipan coach Cody Chandler, whose squad shot 33 percent overall and came into the game ranked 18th in the state in Class A Division II by the Texas Association of Basketball Coaches.
“I was very impressed with the way they rebounded and defended. As the game went on, their physicality wore us down. Our effort was good, but (we made) too many mistakes to beat a team like Tolar.”
Gideon Sanders registered a double-double for Tolar with 10 points and 10 rebounds.
Tolar was led in rebounding by Gideon Sanders with 10. T.J. Foster and Phillips added nine each.
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Lipan 20 8 12 12 – 52
Tolar 21 13 24 20 – 78
Lipan (0-2) scoring – Colby Clinton 14, Hunter Hightower 12, Tanner Richardson 8, Jorge Hernandez 4, Trevor Hedeman 4, Joey McFadden 2, Kyle Mercer 8.
Tolar (1-0) scoring – Jacob Phillips 25, Ty Johnston 24, Tyler Pruitt 19, Gideon Sanders 10.
3-pointers – Lipan: Hightower 4, Mercer 2, Clinton 1, Hedeman 1. Tolar: Johnston 6, Pruitt 3.
Rebounds – Lipan: Clinton 7, Jorge Hernandez 6. Tolar: Sanders 10, Phillips 9, T.J. Foster 9.
Assists – Lipan: Clinton 4. Tolar: Johnston 7, Foster 6.
Steals – Tolar: Foster 4.
Blocks – Tolar: Phillips 4.
Free throws – Lipan 10-16; Tolar 15-24.