NEW MADISON – The Ansonia Tigers squared off against the Southwestern Buckeye League’s Eaton Eagles in the opening round of the Patriot Holiday Classic on Friday at Tri-Village.
The Tigers used an aggressive defense to constantly harry the Eagles who were never able to establish a flow on offense. Not only did the Tigers get points in transition, they showed that they could strike from behind the arc with nine 3-point shots. Eaton made a little run in the third quarter, but Ansonia pulled away in the last quarter for a 58-38 win.
Hunter Muir lead scoring for the Tigers with 20 points, including a dunk and a 3-point shot showing versatility as he proved that he could score from anywhere on the court. But a lot of those points were hard earned – banging bodies in the post for a bucket.
“Muir had a good night,” Ansonia boys basketball coach Chad Cramer said. “He always has a lot of energy. He is active on the offensive glass and can score in so many ways for us. But defensively this was one of his better nights. He was able to provide a lot of help, and tonight he did that.”
Brayden Swabb also had a good night. He did most of his damage from the outside, scoring three 3-point shots. He finished with 13 points.
“We really looked to our seniors to get us going,” Cramer said. “Brayden Swabb hit some shots early to give us a good start. Aydan Sanders did a good job on defense against their best scorer, Grant Sullender. I would have liked a better defense in the second half, but we played well enough for the win.”
Eaton did make a couple of runs during the game. The Eagles closed to within 6 points about midway in the second quarter, but Ansonia closed the half in a frenzy and had a comfortable 31-17 lead.
In the third quarter Ansonia scored well, but Eaton got hot and closed the gap. The Eagles pressed some but were hitting their shots on offense.
However, Ansonia was able to close out the game playing with that same intensity that it had used in the first quarter. The Tigers grew their lead and got the win running away.
“We’ve been like this the whole year,” Cramer said of the third quarter. “We got off to a slow start to begin the half, but we were able to rebound from that and finish strong. When we get into we tend to just do one pass and rush a shot. But when we work the ball, move it around and get guys cutting through – then we are most effective. We are going to be better the more we move the ball.”
Scoring: Aydan Sanders 7, Devyn Sink 9, Hunter Buckingham 3, Brayden Swabb 13, Hunter Muir 20, Trevor Alexander 6.