Thorsby boys blowout Verbena

Published 3:41 pm Monday, January 22, 2018

Thorsby scored at will and hammered the Verbena Red Devils 76-34 on Jan. 19.

It was all Thorsby (9-4, 4-0) all the time, as the Rebels not only converted open looks on offense, but also forced Verbena into several mistakes and turnovers.

Christian Fortner came out firing from the opening tipoff with a pair of long-range shots early in the first quarter. He finished with 36 points and 11 rebounds.

Senior Cain Niece tallied 11 points and a team-high three assists, while bringing his usual hustle to the game.

“On offense we just let our playmakers have the ball and go off them,” senior Chase Merrell said. “If we get Christian, Cain [Niece] and Sawyer [Sellers] the ball, we’ll be good. When they do what they do, everybody else gets open buckets.”

Verbena (3-8, 2-3) was careless with the ball, especially around midcourt, which allowed for quick transition points at the other end by the Rebels.

Fortner accounted for six steals in the game.

The Rebels led 43-24 at halftime and hit the 50-point mark with 5:37 left to play in the third quarter.

According to Thorsby head coach Tim Fortner, he was happy not only with the fact that his players established a big lead, but also with the fact that they were able to maintain and even grow the lead.

Thorsby’s reserves came in and hit some big shots of their own, as Cole Hight and Brody Barnett and Kieran Williams each drained three-pointers in the final minutes to the delight of the home crowd.

“I’ve noticed that when the reserves go into the game, the starters are over on the bench cheering for them,” Tim Fortner said. “They’ve got good chemistry and work well together.”

Xavier Dejarnett and Dawson Rohrbough both had nine points to lead Verbena in scoring.

The win held a lot of weight, as it came against an area opponent and brought the Rebels to 4-0 in the area with two such games left to play.

“Hopefully we’ll be able to host the area [tournament] and get a first round playoff game,” Merrell said. “That’s what we’re aiming for.”