published Tuesday, December 13th, 2011

Tyner defense stifles Irish in 61-36 win

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    Gerald Harris, Tyner High School
    Photo by Danielle Moore

Tyner coach Gerald Harris has felt no need to complicate things for his Rams basketball team. The stress has been on doing the fundamentals -- defense and rebounding. They did plenty of those Monday night in a 61-36 home win against Notre Dame.

The Rams (7-0) played suffocating defense for 32 minutes, holding the Irish to single-digit scoring in three of the four quarters and 10 points in the other, while holding a 30-18 advantage in rebounds.

Jemicah Bowman and Trey Suttles scored 14 points apiece to lead the Rams. Suttles and Travis Murphy had three of the team's 12 offensive rebounds apiece, with the latter's seven total rebounds leading the team.

Sadik Spence had 10 points and Murphy added eight.

"These boys can play some defense," Harris said. "I thought we did a good job tonight on the offensive boards, but when you play defense like we did tonight, it makes it easier on offense."

A four-point lead at the end of the first quarter grew to 17 (27-10) with a 14-1 run in the first 4:01 of the second quarter.

"They switched to a zone press against us," Notre Dame coach Brad Harris said. "It's the first time we've seen it this season; it's the first time some of these guys have seen it ever, at any level.

"They put us on our heels and caused us to adjust on the fly."

Tyner led by 14 at halftime and continued to hammer the boards, also causing steals that led to a number of layups. The lead grew to 20 by the end of the third quarter and got as big as 28.

"Tyner plays some tough pressure defense," Brad Harris said. "They did a good job of speeding our guys up from what they were trying to do. They play tough defense and do a good job on the boards, but we have to do a better job of not making unforced turnovers."

Antonique Bonds had six points, six rebounds and five assists for the Rams, while Iman Jones added four assists.

Stedmon Ford had 18 points to lead the Irish (3-6), who hope to get forward Kywaun Davenport back in the next week or so from an arm injury. His cast is supposed to come off this morning, his coach said.

Kareem Orr was Notre Dame's second-leading scorer with eight points.

Contact Gene Henley at ghenley@timesfreepress.com or 423-757-6311. Follow him on Twitter at twitter.com/gh3sports.

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