By Anthony Jones
The Triad Knights are now halfway through their Mississippi Valley Conference schedule for the year after taking on a trio of conference foes last week. This featured a home battle with Civic Memorial Eagles, plus road trips to Jersey and Waterloo.
Kicking off the week’s matchups was a Monday night contest in Waterloo. Triad entered as 3-2 on the season and the Bulldog’s touted a similar 3-1. Waterloo also stood at 2-0 in MVC play compared to Triad’s 1-1 record.
Triad managed to jump out to an early lead in the first quarter. Led by Sam Yager, who scored 5 points, the team put up 11 points. At the same time, they held Waterloo to a measly 4 points, less than Yager’s score at the time.
The Bulldogs came biting back in the next quarter, however, as their offense came alive. The team unleashed an offensive assault with 15 points in the second quarter. The Knights counteracted this with 9 tallies of their own, giving them a slight 20-19 lead going into halftime.
At the intermission, Yager led the Knights with 10 points total. Wally Good was also a key contributor with half a dozen points of his own.
The scoring opened up in the third quarter with Good sinking a pair of free throws and Waterloo responding with a three pointer to tie the score at 22-22. As they have many times before this season, the Knights delivered a late game burst to escape a tight score. Triad went on a 9-4 run to expand their lead to lead to 31-26 heading into the final quarter.
Triad’s momentum kept rolling into the fourth quarter as they opened it up with a 16-3 run. Waterloo snipped away the lead with a 7-3 run of their own to end the game, but it fell short and they lost 51-36. Yager and Good led Triad’s scoring night with 16 and 14 points, respectively. Reid O’Brien also racked up 9 points for the Knights.
Next up on the schedule was a hosting of Civic Memorial, where the Knights would try to move to 4-0 on the season on their home court. The Eagles came into the day as 0-7 on the season, making them hungry for a first win.
The first quarter was a very back and forth affair as both teams held the lead at points. At the end of it, Triad trailed 14-12. Their scoring was led by another strong first quarter by Yager, who put up 8 points.
The Eagles continued to grow their lead in the next quarter and were up 22-17 late in the period. But Triad’s Kile Crook hit a three late to trim the deficit to 22-20 going into halftime. Yager led the Knight’s with nine points at half.
The third quarter saw the momentum continue in the Eagle’s direction. They returned from halftime by going on a 10-4 run, taking a 32-24 lead. This lead grew slightly at the end of the quarter as they sat up 38-29.
Feeling a sense of urgency, the Knights flipped a switch in the fourth quarter. They opened up with a 12-2 run and O’Brien added two points to give Triad their first lead since early in the first quarter. They then went on a huge 15-4 to close out the game, giving them a 56-44 victory.
The Knights have now come from behind in the fourth quarter to win three of their four home games, where they are 4-0. Yager led the day with 18 points, seven of which came in the critical final quarter. He also racked up 12 rebounds, despite playing against a 6’10” player on Civic Memorial. Good and O’Brien also scored double digits with 13 and 11, respectively.
The final game on the docket for the Knights was a trip to Jersey. The Panthers entered with a 4-5 record for the year and the Knights sat at 5-2. Triad was looking to move to 4-1 in MVC play and the Panthers sat at 1-3.
The first quarter was a tight affair as the two teams traded shot for shot. When it ended, the teams were tied at 7-7. The second quarter started similar as Jersey took a slight 12-11 lead. But the Knights snapped back with a 7-2 run to go up 18-14 lead.
Coming out of halftime, the Knights kept building a lead. They opened up the third frame with a 7-4 run, putting them up 25-18. They continued to slightly grow their lead to 28-20 as the quarter ended.
Triad exploded in the final quarter for 19 points to guarantee their win. They let up 8 points, making the final score 47-28. Trey Moss led the scoring charge with 16 points and Yager tallied 11.
Triad’s upcoming games are listed below.
(A) 03/02/21 7:30 PM vs Highland HS
(H) 03/04/21 7:30 PM vs Mascoutah HS
(H) 03/08/21 7:30 PM vs Waterloo HS