INCOMING … With Chase Legacy of North Central setting a pick against Tanner Clingaman of Stryker, the Eagles’ Branden Turner flies in for a try at two.
STRYKER: January 17, 2014 – The Stryker Panthers welcomed the North Central Eagles into The Cage for a BBC tussle on the evening of January 17. The Panthers, one game back in the BBC standings behind 5-0 Pettisville, had distinct size advantages over the 1-10 Eagles, but the hometown boys needed a fourth quarter burst from Parker Ruffer and Dean Beamont to finally put away North Central by a 57-45 score.
The Panthers came out of the offensive gate somewhat cautiously against North Central in the early going. Unable to connect from mid to long range, they began to pound the ball inside to Ruffer and forward Tanner Clingaman, but even they were having trouble connecting. North Central was experiencing a near blackout of their own, battling through the trapping press of the Panthers, only to miss layups and jump shots with clear looks. The first period ended with Stryker up 7-4.
Although both teams found their offensive engines in the second period, the key to the game was found in Ruffer, who took over the game with his shooting ability. Ruffer was well guarded by the Eagles’ Chase Legacy, but when the North Central big man went to the sidelines, there was nobody big enough to get in the grille of the big Panther, and he promptly went to town. Ruffer hit for a game-high 29, but the Eagles found other ways in which to keep the Panthers off balance. With time expiring in the third, a Ruffer trifecta gave Stryker a 36-33 lead going into the fourth.
The Eagles opened the fourth with a three bomb from Clayton Ferguson to tie the game again, but there was simply too much Ruffer for which the Eagles could not fully answer. Free throws from Ruffer, Beamont and Clingaman expanded the lead to its 57-35 conclusion.
Clingaman posted 11 points to back Ruffer, with Beamont adding 8, Chad Ruffer 7, and Austin Grisier 2.
Legacy led the Eagles with 14 points, while Ferguson had 11, and Branden Turner 10. Dylan Hutchison was held to just 4 points, while Jordan Bailey had 3, Jordan Reeves 2, and Josh Sawyer a free throw.
SCORING BY QUARTER:
Stryker 7 13 16 21 – 57
North Central 4 14 15 12 – 45