Tigers surge by N-C in second half for win

Fred T. Foard earned its highest finish in recent memory at the Catawba Valley Classic, knocking off its second in-county rival in two days.

The Tigers scored 31 points in the second half against Newton-Conover, including 13 from Jordan Turner and eight points each from Tyler Dickens and Bryce Falgout, to overcome a slow start to the game and pick up the fifth-place boys trophy at the Classic, 48-41.

“The difference in two nights was pretty drastic,” said Foard coach Rob Bliss. “For us, offensively, we seemed more relaxed. Our execution level was much higher on the offensive end. I felt like the whole tournament we defended well enough to win. We just didn’t have enough flow offensively. I will take the blame for that. I talk to them so much about execution that they don’t remember to play basketball. We kind of backed away from that tonight and just told them to do what they knew what to do and relax. It worked tonight.”

Both teams got off to sluggish starts in the game, leading to an 8-4 lead for Newton-Conover after the first quarter.

Despite a slow offensive start to the game, the Tigers managed to outscore the Red Devils in the second quarter, 13-11. An 8-0 Foard run in the quarter tied the game 15-15. The game appeared it would deadlocked at the half, but a last-second basket by Newton-Conover’s Kevin Halloway gave his team the 19-17 lead at the break.

Foard started the second half with another 8-0 run, propelling them to a 25-19 lead and forcing a N-C timeout.

“Three games in three days is tough to ask on the kids,” said N-C coach Jonathan Tharpe. “Especially, a very young and inexperienced team like we are. Credit Foard in this game. They out-hustled us. They were better than us physically. Our decisions were pretty suspect at times. We turned the ball over at key times, gave it back to them, they executed and scored it. We just have a long way to go. We are up and down. We’ll either have a good game or a bad game. That’s just a sign of an inexperienced team.”

The Tigers’ Jordan Turner hit a trio of three-pointers in the third quarter, which carried Foard to a three-point lead entering the final quarter.

“Jordan has shown us at times he can be a pretty dynamic offensive player,” Bliss said. “He’s got to get a little more consistent. Any time you see the ball going in the rim, you are a team that has struggled all year with that and you see it go in, it relaxes everyone else.

Dickens scored all eight of his points in the game in the fourth, while Turner added four, as Foard claimed fifth-place. Newton-Conover, who finished third last year, ends the tournament in sixth.

“It’s nice to see Tyler back in a little flow,” Bliss said. “We had sit him off and on the last two weeks. He tore his ankle up in our last game against Bandys. That’s been a recovery process. He is finally starting to get back to full health. Hopefully, we’ll see a little more punch from him down the road.”

Boys third-place game: No. 7 South Caldwell 63, No. 5 St. Stephens 54

Jordyn Propst scored 22 points, leading the Spartans to victory against rival St. Stephens in the third-place game at the Catawba Valley Classic.

Jared Mask added 13 points for South Caldwell, who earned its second upset of a higher seed in three days.

Jordan James led the Indians with nine points, while Kerigan Farley added eight points.