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Red Bay sees different brand of basketball in Illinois tourney

The second-ranked Red Bay Tigers took their game on a long holiday road trip to their coach’s old stomping grounds, where basketball is as much of a passion as football is in Alabama. Red Bay coach John Torisky wanted his team to experience some of the things he did while playing high school basketball in Illinois.

“The atmosphere there was incredible,” said Torisky. “We played in a packed gym, and the place was extremely loud. It was more intense than playing in the regionals at Wallace-State.”

The atmosphere wasn’t the only thing that set the experience apart for the Tigers; it was also the style of play.

“It was much more physical than we are used to playing,” Torisky added. “The teams also had a big size advantage, and we struggled with their length. Every team we played was fundamentally sound; they ran really good offensive sets and had kids who could hit shots if you were out of position.”

Even though the Tigers only picked up one win in the tournament, Torisky said the experience will be a tremendous help to his team in January and February.

“I think it helped our team by getting them out of their comfort zone,” he said. “We played really well and still lost three games, so that was eye-opening for them. The tournament has a long history of great teams and players, and now Red Bay will be associated with that tournament, which is really neat.”

Mater Dei 68, Red Bay 57

Red Bay and Mater Dei were tied 49-49 going into the fourth quarter in the opening game of the tournament. but the home team outscored the Tigers 19-8 in the final period to get the win.

Red Bay hit 12 three-pointers in the game – five each from Gath Weatherford and Clay Allison and two from Braden Ray.

Weatherford led Red Bay with 20 points. Allison followed with 17 points. Ray added 10 points. Tanner Hamilton and Colton Corum scored three points each. Noah Brewer and Lane Shewbart scored two points each.

Red Bay 55, Metro East Lutheran 43

Ray scored 10 fourth-quarter points to help the Red Bay Tigers secure a 55-43 win over Metro East Lutheran.

Red Bay led 15-12 at the end of the first quarter, but Metro East outscored the Tigers 15-11 in the second quarter to take a 27-26 halftime lead. Red Bay regained the lead in the third quarter 40-37 and outscored Metro East 15-6 in the fourth quarter to get the win.

Ray led the Tigers with 19 points, and Weatherford followed with 15 points. Corum added eight points for Red Bay, Allison had seven points, Shewbart had four points and Hunter Bays scored two points.

Mascoulah 66, Red Bay 52

Mascoulah pulled away from the Red Bay Tigers in the third quarter en route to a 66-52 win.

Mascoulah led Red Bay 16-12 at the end of the first quarter and extended that lead to 32-25 at halftime. The Tigers were still within striking distance, but Mascoulah pulled away in the third quarter, outscoring Red Bay 17-7 to take a 49-32 lead into the final period.

Corum led Red Bay with 16 points. Allison followed with 10 points. Weatherford and Ray scored eight points each, and Noah Brewer added four points. Arden Hamilton, Alex Kennedy and Shewbart contributed two points each.

Nashville 69, Red Bay 41

Nashville jumped out to a massive 28-3 first quarter lead over the Red Bay Tigers and cruised to an easy 69-41 win.

Allison led Red Bay with 17 points, followed by Weatherford with 13 points. Ray added three points. Tanner Hamilton, Arden Hamilton and Shewbart scored two points each.