By Clint Kern of the Jackpine Tribune
The archaic US-10 nemesis, Farwell Eagles and Coleman Comets rekindled a hardwood rivalry that stirred flashbacks of district championship thrillers and many other games of yester years. Farwell swept the series last winter, but the Comets were poised and relentlessly focused to ensure that this didn’t happen again this season. Tylor Rhynard was diving, sprawling and ripping balls for blocks, steals and rebounds. Collectively the Coleman ballers were too strong and seemed to have greater endurance as they outscored Farwell 35-15 in the second to claim the victory, 66-46.
Coleman’s Chris Lovejoy rifled a pass to high flying Ryan Walton to break the seal on the scoreboard. Farwell’s Seth Baginski answered for Farwell by slicing in for two, then on their next trip Baginski drilled a trifecta to give Farwell a 5-2 advantage.
Tim Anderson sneaked into a vacancy in the zone, caught, turned and kissed in a shot off the glass. Farwell’s speed slasher, Walter Mosby, spotted up, received the pass, stepped into his shot, elevated and swished a three ball to give FHS an 8-5 lead.
Ryan Walton and Tylor Rhynard were really synchronized inside around the painted area on both ends of the floor. Walton was really seeing the floor well. He zipped a pass to a cutting Rhynard who was sneaking along the baseline to a void, this made the score 10-7 in favor of the Eagles.
Bobby Byard, who’s evolving into one of the toughest covers in the JPC drifted away from his opposition, made himself open, received the ball reversal and nailed a deep triple, this made it 13-7. Rhynard answered with a grown man country strong move to the cup.
Farwell’s Brandon Hauck, All-JPC linebacker, was playing with tremendous grit, hustle and physicality. Hauck slipped loose along the right baseline, caught turned and fired with fluidity as he splashed the jump shot to make it 15-9. Junior floor general, Riley Bell, who’s always looking to catch the defense sleeping in his constant attack mode, dribble shook his defender, pulled up and drilled a three-ball to make it a 15-12 game.
Then the teams two high risers took turns mesmerizing and sending the basketball loyalists into awestruck. Farwell’s Josh Gross slashed to his left, jump stopped and exploded upward, smooched a contested shot off the glass and absorbed a foul. Coleman quickly burst back down the floor, worked the ball around the perimeter and dropped a bounce pass to Walton. Walton slithered past a couple of Eagle defensemen rose up and reversed an electric bucket to make it a 17-14 score. This is where it remained until the end of the opening quarter.
Farwell’s Will Hallman came right in off the bench and knocked down a long triple. Walton and Rhynard each wiggled inside to muscle in buckets to make it a 19-18 ball-game.
Byard wetted another triple from way downtown. Rhynard pivoted and faded to allow him to smooch in a bankshot. Riley Bell arrowed to the rim to convert in transition to give Coleman a 25-22 lead and all the momentum.
Farwell didn’t panic as they came right back down on the offensive. Mosby splashed a corner three-ball to make it a 27-25 game. After a rugged stop, the Eagles soared back down the court, worked through their progressions and fed their money man on the low blocks, Byard who contorted his body and banked home a sky hook. This tied things up in the see-saw first half of play 27 all.
Rhynard muscled and spun loose for another conversion in the paint. Talent laden sophomore guard, sharp-shooting Curtis Robinson rose up on the left wing and swished a mid-range jumper. The Eagles got a stop and Robinson knifed right back down through the defense and connected on another smooth basket to knot the affair up at 31. This is where the score remained until the intermission.
Walton set the tone to begin the third stanza as he corralled numerous rebounds and extended possessions for his club. Anderson caught in the post and knocked in a turnaround jumper. His quarterback on the grid-iron, Trevor Jones sunk a three-bomb to make it a 38-33 Coleman lead. Anderson took his turn from behind the arc and nailed a triple, but his foot was on the line so it was just a long two. Jacob Kipp maneuvered inside and flipped up an in a finger to give the Comets a 42-35 lead after the third. The Comets dominated the final stanza as Farwell went cold.
Coleman’s state receiving yardage leader, Tylor Rhynard played basketball like the football team leading tackler that he is. Rhynard was close to every rebound, he blocked shots, knocked passes out of bounds and he led all scorers as he amassed 19 points.
Riley Bell was all over the floor, facilitating the offense and blanketing the Eagles with swarming defensive pressure. Bell was creating shots and converting his own opportunities with style and grace. Bell tallied 16 points from his point guard position and orchestrated the Comets offensive schemes. Coleman’s jumping jack, Ryan Walton was playing above the rim again. Walton compiled a double-double as he ranged for 11 caroms and he netted 11 points. “We played bad defense in the first half. The second half we came out with much greater focus and intensity. This was the type of game that I was waiting for Rhynard to play. We getting there, Lars is getting better, we need to get Tim healthy, we’re improving, this was a pretty solid game for us,” replied Coleman’s Coach Byron Schunk.
Farwell’s Bobby Byard has a versatile arsenal and he led the Eagles with 17 points.