Despite Nichols’ best efforts at one of the crazier comebacks of the year, it was the Bishop-Timon Tigers who hung on for the 55-42 win in Monsignor Martin Athletic Association league play at Nichols High School.
Timon swiftly jumped out to a 9-0 lead off the back of 3 Master Radford blocks in the first four minutes. A strong defensive effort early prevented Nichols from getting on the board until a Myles Hervey fadeaway got the Vikings rolling 3:45 into quarter one. The Tigers’ offensive rebounds and ability to get to the basket propelled them to a 15-2 lead late in the first. Despite not scoring early, a TJ Banaszak 3 in the dying seconds brought Nichols to within 8, as the first quarter ended in a 15-7 Timon lead.
The second quarter opened similarly to the first with a Master Rashford block, giving him his fifth of the first half. A quick Timon start was answered by a Will Johnson 3 to cut the lead 19-10. However, despite Nichols’ best efforts, they couldn’t slow down the Timon attack. An 8-0 run put the Tigers up 27-10 with two minutes remaining in quarter two. The teams traded baskets up until halftime, as Timon took a 33-15 lead into the break.
Coming into quarter three, it appeared Timon was on their way to an easy victory, but the Vikings had other ideas. After two Davion Warren free throws that put Timon up 35-15, their largest lead of the game, the tides turned and the Vikings came roaring back. A 15-1 run was kicked off thanks to an Aidan Horan 3 that cut the Timon lead to 35-18. Strong play underneath and in the post from Myles Hervey, transition layups from Will Johnson, and another Aidan Horan 3 all helped to bring Nichols to within just six, 36-30. The Vikings pulled off the massive scoring burst without TJ Banaszak, who went down in the second quarter with an apparent leg injury and did not return. Davion Warren hit a floater for Timon to disrupt the Vikes offensive outburst. The Tigers began full court pressing to slow down Nichols but to no avail. A Harry Serottle layup closed quarter three, as Nichols outscored Timon 19-7 to trail only by six, 40-34.
With the makings for an exciting final quarter, the teams traded points for the first few minutes. After Timon took a nine point lead halfway through the fourth, Nichols yet again had an answer, as a Will Johnson and one cut the Tiger advantage to six. The Vikings weren’t able to get any closer however. A rim rocking Master Radford put back slam was the momentum booster Timon needed to reach the finish line, as they hit their free throws down the stretch to close it out.
Davion Warren led all scorers with 20 points for the Tigers. Master Radford had 10 points to go along with 6 huge blocks.
“We just had to fight and match their intensity,” said Timon head coach Desmond Randall. “They came out in the second half with a different type of intensity and we seemed to think it was over but we fought back.”
“We kept fighting,” said Davion Warren, who went 8 for 10 at the line during the contest to help secure the win. “Nichols is a good team and they kept fighting too, but we were able to pull it out.”
As for the Vikings, Will Johnson and Myles Hervey topped the stat sheet with 12 and 9 points respectively.
“All I did at halftime was tell the team what I’ve been telling them the whole season, that we can play with anybody,” said Nichols head coach Darren Fenn. “They finally listened and believed it. It was nice to see us play a half of basketball against a very good team the way we can play basketball.”
The win puts Timon at 15-5 overall and 8-2 in MMAA league play. They travel to Olean on February 11th for their next matchup.
Nichols now sits at 9-11 on the season and 4-6 in the Monsignor Martin League. The Vikings return to action on February 13th as they take on Cardinal O’Hara at home.