Bluefield Daily Telegraph, Bluefield, WV

February 19, 2014

Blue Devils stymie Bulldogs in Conference 39 tournament

By LARRY HYPES
for the Daily Telegraph

TAZEWELL, Va. — In and out.  Grayson County went inside and knocked Tazewell out of the Conference 39 tournament.

Ty Cannaday scored 18 points and Max Rodgers added 16, leading Grayson County to a 64-46 Conference 39 tournament opening win over Tazewell on Tuesday night at Tazewell Middle School.

Grayson County (10-11) will play at Richlands in the tourney semifinals on Friday, while Tazewell completed its season at 8-12.

“Give Grayson credit. They came over to win the ball game,” Tazewell head coach William Lester said. “We got behind early and never found our momentum.

“We tried three different defenses, triangle-and-two, full-court press, man-to-man, and nothing seemed to work. It is a disappointing way to finish our season here at home with this kind of game.”

 Grayson County jumped out to a 6-0 lead, and never trailed the Bulldogs. Tanner Catron hit a pair of 3s for Tazewell in the opening period, but Rodgers (7) and Cannaday (6) combined for 13 points, as the Blue Devils built a 19-9 lead.

“We wanted to leave everything on the floor,” Cannaday said. “We said coming over here, we did not want this to be our last game. We started pretty good inside so we just kept working that.”

Tazewell was able to made a brief comeback, pulling within 10 on a dunk by Jesse Mountain with 1:40 left until the break, but the Blue Devils extended the margin to 32-20 going into halftime.

“It might have looked like we had things covered once we got that 8 to 10 point early lead, but it was not that easy,” Rodgers said. “We had heard at times Tazewell can be a little undisciplined, but everybody knows how athletic they are and how dangerous they can be. We never did let up.

“One of our coaches said the key to the game was going to tbe first five minutes of the second half. We listened and we came out firing.”

Definitely. The combination of Cannaday and Rodgers helped Grayson County score 21 third quarter points, eventually building its largest lead at those same 21 points, while the Bulldogs continued to struggle with its offense.

“We just couldn’t get our offense going,” said Catron, who led Tazewell with 11 points. “Grayson County is big, fast and great in transition. They out-hustled us.”

Grayson County, which struggled early in the season with Rodgers out with an injury, will continue on, with Richlands waiting on Friday.

“We knew coming into this game that they (Tazewell) liked to run it up and down and that is usually our game too,” Grayson County head coach Lucas Austin said. “I thought our guys did a good job early of attacking Tazewell’s defense.

“It seems liked Tazewell had trouble finding any consistency so we tried to take advantage of that.”

Isyah Hagy added nine points for the Bulldogs. Hagy, Catron and Colin Hancock played their final games for Tazewell.



at Tazewell Middle School

GRAYSON COUNTY (10-11)

James Williams 7, Ty Cannaday 18, Tyler Lundy 2, Bailey Hawkins 2, Koby Hill 7, Max Rodgers 16, Cole Davis 7, Lucas Mitchell 5.

TAZEWELL (8-12)

Nick Elkins 2, Malik Davis 4, Tanner Catron 11, Colin Hancock 3, Juwan Jordan 6, Ben Samaniego 2, T.J. Kitts 5, Jesse Mountain 4, Isyah Hagy 9.

Grayson County..............19  13  21  11  —  64

Tazewell..............................9  11 12  14  —  46

3-point goals: GC 2 (Hill 1, Rodgers 1); TZ 7 (Catron 3, Hagy 2, Hancock 1, Kitts 1).