Gremlins knock off other unbeaten team

By KYLE SMITH Democrat Sports Editor

February 16, 2014

The Sacred Heart Gremlins had a little something extra Saturday night in its win over Smithton at Sacred Heart School.

In a battle of the last two undefeated teams in Kaysinger Conference play, the quick-striking Gremlins rolled to a 90-56 win over Smithton.

The win puts the Gremlins (20-0 overall, 6-0 Kaysinger) into the driver’s seat for the regular-season conference title. Smithton fell to 18-3 and 6-1.

After Smithton held leads of 2-0 and 5-4, the Gremlins closed the first quarter on an 18-5 run that included runs of 7-0 and 8-0.

Chase Lyles, who scored a game-high 24 points, made the go-ahead basket on a three-point play for a 7-5 lead, and the Tigers never held the lead again.

Dane Apsher, who scored 14 points, hit two free throws in the closing second to cut the Tigers’ deficit to nine, but Stefan Cox sank a 3-pointer at the buzzer for a 22-10 lead.

Cox was all over the court, playing defense, grabbing rebounds, delivering assists and scoring 23 points.

Sacred Heart stretched its lead to as much as 18 points in the quarter and took a 48-29 lead into halftime behind a jumper by Lyles and a coast-to-coast layup by Cox.

The Gremlins pushed their lead to 75-41 after three quarters, and the fourth was played under the running clock.

Strange joined teammates Lyles and Cox in double figures with 10 points.

Preston McMullin (12 points) and Drew Apsher (11) were the other two Tigers to score in double figures.