Mill Valley boys edge Gardner
Rainbolt leads Jags with 22 points
After going a month without playing, the Mill Valley boys returned to the court Tuesday night and picked up a statement victory as they defeated Gardner-Edgerton, 66-64, at GEHS.
It was as tough of a victory as the close score indicates.
The Jaguars fell behind big early, rallied furiously during the second quarter, built a lead late and then made free throws in the closing minutes to hang on.
“I’m very proud of them, one, for making two comebacks in the first half, for taking the lead, hanging onto it, never panicking when they actually tied the game up late, and then hitting free throws down the stretch to put the game away,” MVHS coach Justin Bogart said. “The players competed, and we went and played a good team on their floor and beat them.”
Gardner opened the game on a 10-4 run and built a 28-19 lead during the second quarter. Mill Valley caught fire late, however, as Tanner Rainbolt knocked down a couple three-pointers and Max Carroll hit a trey. By halftime the Jaguars were within 35-33.
Kyle Powers played a big role in the rally both offensively and defensively, Bogart said. He had multiple steals at midcourt and made strong cuts to the basket on offense that opened up lanes to score. Powers banged his head later in the game, however, and did not return.
“He does the little things on offense,” Bogart said of Powers, “and a lot of great things on defense.”
The momentum continued in the third quarter as Mill Valley built a five-point lead. They never trailed again, however Gardner rallied and tied the game late in the fourth quarter.
The difference was at the free throw line. After missing all four free throw attempts during the first three quarters, the Jaguars hit 14 of 17 tries from the stripe in the final stanza to put the game away.
Rainbolt led the Jaguars with 22 points and Carroll scored 17.
Mill Valley (2-1) next plays at 7:30 p.m. Friday at home against Bonner Springs (2-3). The game marks a return to Kaw Valley League play where the Jaguars are 1-0.
“We need to find out where we stand in our league,” Bogart said. “It’s really not for us to say since we’ve only played Turner. We’ve scouted the other teams and know a lot about them, but until you play you can’t really measure yourself against them.”