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Nevada boys win tournament opener, 62-57

Friday, January 18, 2013

Nevada Daily Mail

The Nevada Tigers varsity boys' basketball team entered its second tournament of the season Thursday night, taking on the Raiders of Frontenac in the Kansas National Guard Invitational at Frontenac High School.

As he has done all season long, senior Silas Smith stepped up and led the Tigers right from the start, scoring six of Nevada's first eight points and ultimately carrying head coach John McNeley's squad to a 62-57 victory.

Despite being undefeated in five road games, the Raiders entered Thursday night's contest winless in three games at home on the season. Smith and the Tigers wasted little time in jump-starting their efforts to extend that home losing streak to four games with an 8-0 run to break a 6-all tie in the opening period.

Nevada eventually held a 14-11 advantage into the second quarter. It wasn't smooth sailing through the remainder of the half, though, as the Tigers' second leading scorer, Jamin Brandt, found himself with two fouls in the first three minutes of the game's opening quarter.

As a result of his early foul troubles, Brandt was on the bench for the majority of the second half and ended up being one of three Tigers who entered the halftime intermission with two fouls. Frontenac took full advantage, ending the half on a 10-run to finish the second quarter that resulted in the game's first lead change and catapulted the Raiders to a 23-18 halftime lead.

The Tigers eventually regained the lead for good, finishing the third quarter with a 38-35 edge. Despite being down by eight points in the final 10 seconds of the contest, Frontenac never gave up and Devon Keith may not have changed the outcome, but he did provide a highlight-reel moment when he put up a half-court 3-pointer that went in the basket just as the buzzer sounded to cap off Nevada's five-point win.

Smith led the offensive effort for the Tigers with 26 points -- 20 in the second half alone -- and was joined in double figures by Brandt with 13 and Nathan Colopy with 10. For Frontenac, Matt Standlee finished the contest with 12 points, followed by Avery Coronado, Blake Barto and Dylan Clark, who each chipped in 11.

With the win, the Tigers improved to 7-5 on the year and will be back in action tonight against the winner of Thursday night's matchup between the three-time defending Class 4A Oklahoma State Champion Trojans of Frederick A. Douglass High School (Oklahoma City) and the Lions of Baxter Springs. Tipoff for tonight's winner's bracket semifinal game is scheduled for 8:30 p.m., in the gym at Frontenac High School.

Frontenac is scheduled to be back in action today as well, taking on the loser of the Douglass-Baxter Springs contest in a consolation bracket contest at 6:45 p.m.

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