Background: On Wednesday February 10, seven seniors stepped on the hardwood of Klinger Court for the last time. Coach Ryan Krohn's comments on these representatives of Turpin High School follow.
“Our seniors this year are some of the toughest, hardest working, greatest kids I have had the pleasure to coach. I have felt honored to be a part of their lives. As I think of this class, I think about Brad Herndon, an all-state goalie, potentially our valedictorian, and an amazing young man that never stops working and pushing his teammates. Mitch Johnson has been our constant rock. Someone that leads by example, has improved offensively immensely in a short period of time, and someone that I can count on to make sure what needs done, gets done. A'drien Baker has grown up and matured more than any player I have ever coached. He has a developed character, toughness, and a drive that has been remarkable to witness over the last 12 months. Unfortunately Dylan Calder has not been able to participate much this year, but has not missed a practice or team event. His off season work ethic had put him in position to gain some significant playing time. Jack Glandt has improved more than anyone over the past 12 months. We have asked a lot from Jack and he has handled it with great toughness. He has been our only inside player all year and has battled game in and game out. Jack is a very cerebral young man that has a limitless future in whatever he does. Owen Richardson is the definition of gym rat. Always the first one in the gym and has to be forced to leave. A phenomenal kid that never stops fighting, improving and working. Owen's silent leadership will be great missed. He is headed for a bright future as well. Brandon Holaday is a competitor. Brandon loves basketball more than any player I have ever coached. Brandon is always in the gym working. Beside the obvious, Brandon being a great, great player, he is an amazing kid off the floor. He may be the most considerate, loving, passionate kid that thinks of those around him before himself. He would much rather see a teammate succeed before himself. I'm not sure how you replace a Brandon Holaday. He is unreplaceable. His attitude, work ethic, leadership, desire and passion will be great missed.”
The Game: The Spartans (7-14, 3-10 ECC) faced the Milford Eagles (13-8, 8-5 ECC), who had won the prior contest back on January 5 rather easily 74-54. That would not be the case on this evening. It did not start well, however as the Eagles raced out to a 7-0 lead. Mitch Johnson got the Spartans going with a three pointer, then scored on a drive to cut the deficit to 9-5. The Eagles pulled ahead 15-8, but Jack Campbell scored a basket then after Milford answered, Jack Tyszkiewvicz nailed a three pointer to pull the Spartans within four at 17-13 after one quarter. A’Drien Baker started the second quarter with a coast to coast layup to get the Spartans within two at 17-15. The Eagles wend on a 9-2 run, however to take a 26-17 lead. The Spartans fought back, though with six straight on two baskets by Tyszkievwicz and a bucket by Brad Herndon. Each team scored four in the remainder of the quarter, and the Eagles led 30-27 at halftime. Herndon knocked down two free throws to start the third quarter, but Milford answered with an 11-2 run to go up 41-31. Baker stopped the run with four straight points to cut the deficit to 41-35. After an Eagle free throw, Griffin Durso made a three. The Eagles ended the quarter with a basket and had a 44-38 lead going into the fourth quarter. Things began looking bleak for the Spartans early in the fourth quarter as Jack Engleman (remember that name) scored four straight to put the Eagles up 10 at 48-38. However, what followed would have to be described as the best scoring run of the season (to date) for the Spartans. The 14-2 blitz began with a three pointer by Baker, who then stole the ball which led to a Johnson three pointer. Owen Richardson then knocked down a three and drained another after a Milford basket to the game at 50-50. Then on two separate occasions, Tyszkievwicz went to the free throw line, first with 1:04 remaining then with 42 seconds left and went 2-2 from the line both times to give Turpin a 54-50 lead. Engleman then scored with 19 seconds left to pull the Eagles within two. The Spartans made a free throw at the 16 second mark to take a 55-52 lead. The Eagles took possession, and frantically worked the ball around for a shot. It ended up in Engleman’s hands behind the three point line. He launched a desperation three that went in, tying the game with 1.5 seconds remaining. According to the ECC website, it was the second three pointer he had made all season. The game went into overtime, as a halfcourt shot by the Spartans did not go in.
The first overtime went back and forth, but the Eagles took a three point lead at 62-59 with 25 seconds remaining. On the next possession, Tyskzievwicz hit a clutch three pointer to tie the game at 62-62. The Spartan defense prevented an answer by the Eagles, and the game went to double OT. The second OT saw the Eagles take a 63-62 lead on a free throw, but Tyszkievwicz knocked in a three to give Turpin a 65-63 lead. Milford was able to jump back on top with a 5-0 run, which Tyszkievwicz ended with a basket at the 40 second mark to pull the Spartans within one at 68-67. An Eagle free throw put them up 69-67 with 18 seconds remaining. The Spartans attacked the basket in the closing seconds. The first shot did not go in, and after multiple stickback attempts were unsuccessful the clock ran out and Turpin lost 69-67. The Spartans were led in scoring by Tyszkievwicz with 21 points (three three pointers), followed by Johnson (two threes) and Baker (one three) with 12 apiece. Richardson had nine (three threes), Herndon four, Durso three (one three) and Glandt, Marc Gendreau and Campbell each had two. The Spartans regular season comes to a close Friday, February 12 as they travel to Kings for an ECC contest.