Lyme junior all-star Troy Wilson gets a lot of credit for the Indians Frontier League success this year, and rightly so because he leads the entire league in scoring and was named the D Division MVP.
Yet, its the play of several blue-collar kids who do a lot of the dirty work that has helped the Indians claim a double championship.
Wilson scored 32 points and regular-season champion Lyme dominated the backboards en route to a 64-56 win over No. 2 Sackets Harbor in the D Division championship game Monday night at Jefferson Community College.
Senior Darius Reed contributed 16 points and senior Timmy Morrow added 13 points, including the biggest basket of the game in the final minute, as the Indians (14-4) gained their first playoff title in 20 years.
Five different Lyme players grabbed at least six rebounds, led by Kody Goutremout with 11, as they denied the Patriots (12-6) many second chances while giving their own club numerous second and third opportunities.
That was an emphasis before the game because they had hurt us on the offensive glass the last game, said Lyme coach Leo Wilson. Weve had other guys really step up this year and make key contributions. The kids have really worked hard and helped us accomplish our goal to win the regular season and playoffs.
Troy Wilson, who made four 3-pointers and also grabbed eight rebounds, said the key to the championship run has been working hard every day in practice. We play together really well, and everybody out there is doing something to help us win.
Morrow, a senior forward, is one of those unsung heroes that does his job without much fanfare. He grabbed seven rebounds and his 3-point play with 44.2 seconds left in the game helped Lyme stop the Sackets Harbor momentum that had been building throughout the fourth quarter, allowing the Patriots to move within two points.
With Sackets Harbor keying on Troy Wilson, Morrow found himself with the ball 15 feet from the basket with the Indians clinging to a 58-56 lead. Morrow spun to the basket and missed his initial shot. But he went after the rebound, secured it, and made the follow shot. Then he converted the free throw.
Lymes defense then forced a couple of missed 3-pointers, and Troy Wilson hit three free throws to finish off the Lyme win.
Said Morrow of the key play: I got the ball and just went up. When I missed I was really mad and I knew I had to have the rebounds. I just got it and threw it back up and it went in.
Coach Wilson said Morrow and the other front-line kids are battlers. They dont do anything fancy but they just get the job done.
Gunnar Blank also contributed six rebounds and Reed had eight for Lyme.
Senior Zach Rousseau kept the Patriots in the game with a superb 27-point performance.
Zach was great tonight, said Sackets Harbor coach Jeff Robbins. And I thought my kids really competed. But give Lyme credit. They pounded the boards and gave themselves a lot of extra chances.
Lyme led 44-33 midway through the third quarter. But Rousseau scored eight points in the final three minutes to get Sackets Harbor within 47-43 at the quarter break.
Sackets Harbors Ryan Allen then converted a runner in the lane to cut the deficit to 58-56 with 1:16 remaining.
After coach Wilson called a timeout, Morrow delivered his biggest play of the year.
When they got within two, I wasnt sure how the kids would handle the pressure, he said. But theyve been gaining confidence toward the end of the season, and hopefully that will carry over to the sectionals.