On a blustery Jan. 29th night, the Houston Tigers blew into town, looking for revenge against Thayer after the Bobcats had bested Houston in the championship game of the Liberty Tournament a couple of weeks before.
However, instead of revenge, the Tigers found themselves getting smoked in round number two, with Thayer (20-1) crushing Houston 57-29 in a key South Central Association matchup.
While Houston played bombs away from behind the arc in the Liberty finals, on this night, thanks to inspired defense from the Cats, the Tigers couldn't hit anything and scored just five points in the first half.
Michael Lowther (two points) controlled the opening tip, and the Bobcats immediately took charge of the contest.
Even though the helter skelter, run-and-gun offense of the Bobcats was still in play in this contest, the seasoned group of veterans from Thayer were all about "takin' care of business" against the Tigers.
Michael Buckner, Houston's leading scorer and 3-point ace, was hounded, covered and stuffed by Blake Horton, and the Bobcats broke out to an easy 10-2 lead.
With smooth ball movement, both Horton (11 points) and Lance Schneider (11 points) recorded assists to an open Garrett Smith under the basket, and Smith delivered.
And thanks to that tough Bobcat defense, Thayer held a commanding 29-5 lead at the half.
It was more of the same in the second half.
Luke Martin contributed some time on the floor in the first half, and he made more contributions in the second half of play with seven points. Matt Kojdecki and Ryan Tate (three points) were strong on defense and added to the team hustle.
As the Bobcats worked on perhaps some new plays and ran their offense, Smith got free under the basket to add to his season- and game-high 19 points, leading the Bobcats to a 57-29 victory over Houston.
Ryan Veatch and Jacob Eckman ended the game with two points apiece for Thayer.
Photo by Looney