By TERESA CHIPMAN
PHS sports writer
The Preston boys played at the Red Lion Tournament in Nevada over the weekend where they split their two game schedule.
The Indians lost 57-38 in the second game on Friday, Dec. 7, against Elko. They started the game a bit slow trailing by eight at the end of the first quarter. They cut that lead to five by the half (23-18) but lost a lot of ground in the third quarter.
“We had a bunch of turnovers during that stretch and the big kid (Brian Pearson) had 10 blocked shots for them,” coach Tyler Jones said. “In that stretch, he blocked four or five in the third quarter, and then we forced a few shots inside. So, he kind of changed the game there and caused some problems for us.”
The Indians fought hard in the fourth quarter and made it their best quarter of the game but it wasn’t enough to overcome Elko’s lead. Taylor Smellie led the Indians with 12 points and Austin Smellie had nine. Kyle Lords put up six (10 rebounds), Layton Coleman three and Dalton Lloyd, RJ Harris, McKay Dodge and Derek Fryar each contributed two.
“We had a good little spurt, didn’t quit and battled back a little bit there, so I was proud that we didn’t stop,” said Jones, who hopes to use the loss as a stepping stone to better things.
On Thursday, Dec. 6, the Indians played Spring Creek in their first game of the Red Lion Tournament in Elko, Nev. Preston took charge early and never relinquished it gaining a 66-34 victory over the designated host team.
A 20-5 run in the first quarter fueled by some good combinations resulting in 18 points between Taylor and Lords just continued to build. Though their offense let up a bit after that first quarter, their defense remained tough throughout never allowing the Spartans to build any momentum.
“I was really pleased with our effort defensively,” Jones said. “We were able to get some easy baskets off of (our defense), and we pressured them a little bit and created some turnovers that helped as well. But … like we talked about before, our key this season is we have to play good defense, so that was a big key tonight.”
Preston led 30-12 at the end of the first half and continued to widen the gap in the third and fourth quarters. Taylor ended the night with 20 points, Austin nine, Lords eight and 15 rebounds, Fryar six, Riley Moedl five, Kyle Slade and Dodge four each, Tate Johnson and Coleman three each, Llyd and Harris two each.
Friday, Dec. 14, Preston will host Bear Lake with games at 4:30, 6 and 7:30 p.m. Century will come to Preston on Wednesday, Dec. 19, to play at 6 and 7:30 p.m.
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