By Johnny Sanders, Sports Editor
SPRINGVILLE – While the football team is getting a good bit of attention for their success, and rightfully so, the Springville Tigers basketball team have opened the 2023/2024 season with a pair of home games. The first game was not what they Tigers would have hoped for as they lost to 6A contender Clay Chalkville 62-49.
Brookwood would be the next test for the Tigers on Thursday night as the Panthers visited Springville. The Tigers would take out their frustration on Brookwood with a dominant defensive effort and big nights from Fred Tripp and Brodie Frederick on the offensive side to blow out the Panthers 69-30.
The first quarter was close as the both teams struggled on offense. The Tigers outscored Brookwood 11-5 in the first, led by Luke Ballard’s three-pointer and four others who put up two points each.
In the second, Springville would smother Brookwood and hold them scoreless for the first five minutes of the quarter while scoring 14 of their own. Springville would end the quarter on an 8-1 run to end the half with a score of 33-8. Frederick would lead the Tigers with five points in the second to go with four from Tripp and Carter Samuelson.
Despite a sloppy start from Springville in the third, the Tigers quickly got it together and dominated the quarter once again, outscoring the Panthers 20-16. Brookwood put together a short run at the beginning of the period, scoring 10 quick points on Springville. Frederick and Tripp threw down some thunderous dunks to ignite the Springville offense in the quarter and swing the momentum back in the Tigers’ favor. The quarter would end 41-18 with the Tigers holding a commanding lead. Frederick led all scorers with six points in the third, followed by Tripp, who had four.
The fourth would be much the same as the rest of the game. Springville outscored the Panthers 16-6 in the period. Ballard would lead the Tigers with six points on two three-point shots in the quarter to go with five points from Tripp. The game would end with a 69-30 score and a much happier Head Coach Brandon Easterwood.
Frederick Tripp led the Tigers on the night with 15 points while Brodie Frederick had 13 and Luke Ballard had 11, 9 of which came on three-point shots.
“I feel like, from the first game, I could have played better defense and helped my team with defensive rebounds,” said Tripp. “So, I just said I wanted to do that tonight. Get some good buckets and have a good start. We’ve got Jacksonville Tuesday and that would be a good win. My dunks were just energy. From last game I felt like I needed to find some energy to move us forward.”
Frederick said of the game, “The first half we were sort of asleep. After that, we woke up and got the press going and started playing better. We just have to make sure not to turn the ball over and
get our shots. If we get our shots, we will win.”
Coach Easterwood was encouraged by the performance, but saw areas of improvement. “We bounced back from Tuesday night and did what we had to do to win. It wasn’t pretty and perfect but it was good enough. We had to extend our defense and apply pressure and it made us more aggressive and we were able to create some turnovers in the second quarter. Early in the season, we have to find the five that play well together and finding that chemistry and the combination of the right players on the floor. That contributed to some of the sloppy play in the third.”
The Tigers look to continue their winning ways as they prepare for a showdown with Jacksonville on Tuesday night.