Brill’s 27 points lead Rams past Generals
QUICKSBURG – Tyler Brill’s outside shot wasn’t falling the way he wanted it to on Friday night. So the Strasburg senior used his advantage inside to help get the Rams going.
Brill led the Rams to a solid second half en route to a 68-49 non-district boys basketball victory over Stonewall Jackson.
“I was working in the post a lot tonight,” Brill said. “My shot wasn’t falling that much in the first half, and I hit two in the second that kind of got me going. My teammates looked for me in the short corner. They’re really good at that.”
Brill had a career-high 27 points, with 21 coming in the second half. The Rams were clinging to a 23-17 lead at the half, and Brill hit back-to-back baskets inside to push the lead to 10.
Stonewall Jackson junior Dylan Davis, who had 25 points, drilled a 3-pointer, but Brill scored again inside and Strasburg’s Tyler Fincham hit two free throws to extend Strasburg’s lead to 31-20 with 5:53 left in the third period.
The Rams (2-2) were able to push the lead to 12 several times, but each time the Generals (1-3) responded.
A 3-pointer by Davis, a driving layup by Kaelen Sorrells and three free throws by Brendan Hoover helped the Generals cut the lead to 43-34 after three periods.
Stonewall Jackson lost 70-34 to Strasburg last week, and Generals coach David Fowler said he was happy with the way his players played.
“The first thing I said to them in the locker room was they fought hard,” Fowler said. “Considering we lost by 36 last week — only a seven days difference. We came out and I think we were better than what the score showed. We had it down to seven there towards the end and they fought.”
The two teams went back and forth at the start of the fourth period. A 3-pointer by Davis and a basket by Brandon Lewter cut Strasburg’s lead to 49-42 with 6:07 left in the game.
The Rams went on a 17-0 run to put the game away. Brill scored the first 12 points during the run, including two 3-pointers.
“From the six-minute mark of the fourth quarter to the two-minute mark of the fourth quarter is when I actually thought we played well,” Strasburg coach Matt Hiserman said. “We didn’t play well defensively all night. Our defensive intensity level was not there at all, for whatever reason.”
The game started off slow for both teams. The two teams shot a combined 30.7 percent (8-for-26) in the opening period. The Rams led 11-6, including six from Brill.
The Generals cut the lead to 11-9 on a 3-pointer by Nick Dotson early in the second period, but that was as close as they would get the rest of the way.
“We never panicked whenever they were in the game there it the first half,” Hiserman said. “… Overall we kept battling. We didn’t quit. We came out of here with another win.”
The Generals were coming off a tough 84-45 loss to Central, and Fowler said the players did some soul searching after that game. He said he was very happy to see Davis respond the way he did.
“Dylan was one that we’ve been telling him all along, ‘Dylan this is the type of player you can be,'” Fowler said. “‘We’re comfortable with you taking that shot. We’re comfortable with you shooting the ball,’ but he needed to find confidence in himself. I think when we did some soul searching, he found confidence in his self and I think that paid off tonight.”
Brill had four rebounds to go with his 27 points. Mekhi Hendricks had 11 points, four rebounds and five assists, and Fincham had eight points, four rebounds, three assists and four steals for the Rams. Trevin Howard had two points, six rebounds and four assists for Strasburg.
Hiserman said his team is still trying to find its way in the early part of the season.
“In our next three games (next week) hopefully we can find our way right there,” Hiserman said “Then we got to go to (George) Mason. So we have a few more games to get ready there. … Overall I think they played well together. We just weren’t focused early on.”
Contact staff writer Tommy Keeler at 540-465-5137 ext. 168, or firstname.lastname@example.org