NEW MARTINSVILLE - Having lost 13 of its first 14 games of the season, Tyler Consolidated coach J.C. Kimble has installed a new defense and is trying new things.
Those changes were on display Saturday afternoon at Magnolia High School, and the Silver Knights actually showed much improvement the first six or seven minutes of the opening three quarters. However, they struggled closing in each one.
Point Pleasant outscored Tyler by a combined 27-2 margin in the final two minutes of the first three quarters, which was enough for the Big Blacks to take an impressive 72-49 victory home with them from the Region One "AA" Rotary Challenge.
Kimble's crew led 10-7 early on, with just more than two minutes showing in the first period only to see Point (9-6) scoring the final 10 points of the quarter and lead 17-10 after one.
Point Pleasant coach Richie Blain's southern squad was up 21-16 before a quick 9-0 burst, in just 59 seconds put them in control. However, the difference was once again the end of the quarter in which the Blacks dropped in nine of the final 11 points to lead 39-21 at the break.
Leading 49-37 late in the third, a closing 8-0 spurt pushed the margin to 20 at 57-37 with eight minutes to play.
''We wanted to try a new defense and it really worked well starting out,'' Kimble said. ''But while we forced them into some turnovers, we were turning it over also.
''I was very pleased with the first quarter, our excitement and intensity were both up. I think the kids are buying into the new things, we are getting on the same page and I believe we will be alright."