Ennis scores 23 as Tiverton beats Wheeler, 70-65

Story and photos by Richard W. Dionne Jr.
Posted 1/21/20

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Tiverton senior point guard Ryan Ennis scored 23 points to …

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Ennis scores 23 as Tiverton beats Wheeler, 70-65

Posted

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Tiverton senior point guard Ryan Ennis scored 23 points to lead the Tigers over Wheeler 70-65, at Wheeler’s Van Norman Field House in Seekonk on Thursday night. 

The win boosts the Tigers record to 3-3 in Division II and 4-4 overall. Tiverton has won two in a row and three of their last four. 

“It was a big game for us. Ryan really stepped up and proved that he’s a leader tonight,” said Tigers Head Coach Dave Landoch.

“I’m a pass first point guard. But today we needed me to score. So I tried my best to do that,” Ennis said after the game. 

“He’s been really good all year, said Tigers captain Matt Gacioch of Ennis. “Ryan’s got really good ball handling skills. He can go to the basket anytime that he wants. He’s also got a shot. If we can get a screen for him, he’s going to the basket and it’s hard to stop him.”

Ennis, a senior, has been playing basketball since first grade. The point guard said that his favorite NBA player is Jamal Crawford. “Because he’s under appreciated.” So much so, that the NBA player is out of the league. “He’s a free agent,” Ennis said. 

 

The Tigers came to play

Tiverton’s physical play, particularly Matt Gacioch (14 points), helped the Tigers gain a 31-23 edge at the half, but early second half fouls quickly took Gacioch off his game and Wheeler tied it on buckets by Jack Mancini and a foul shot by guard Travis Cobain with 13:51 left to go in the game. 

The two teams began trading baskets and leads. Jared Landoch (coach’s nephew) downed a three pointer to give Tiverton a 52-50 lead with 6:09 to play. 

When asked after the game, if the three pointers that the team sunk down the stretch was something the team was working on, coach Landoch quipped, “No. We Pray,” he said with a laugh. “Jared hit that bomb down there. I thought hey, okay. It was like one of those Hail Marys,” coach Landoch said. 

Tiverton clung to a 66-65 with 18 seconds left. 

From the baseline, Gacioch passed the ball in to Ennis and Wheeler fouled him as he dribbled up court. Ennis sunk them both to give Tiverton a 68-65 lead with 13 seconds left. 

Cobain tried to throw up a three, but Deldeo was draped all over him. The ball was short and Gacioch grabbed the rebound. Wheeler fouled him immediately and Gacioch sank both free throws to ice the game, 70-65, with 7 seconds left. Time ran out as Wheeler’s Mancini hoisted a shot from half court and the Tigers had their upset.

“This is the first time this season that we put up this many points,” coach Landoch said. “We usually shoot in the 40s. For them to be able to do that tonight was great.” Coach Landoch sees the team having a good second half to the season. “We are going in the right direction. We are getting better and better. We’ve won two in a row. That’s the key. We are trying to stay away from that roller coaster and just keep climbing the hill,”coach Landoch said. 

 

Tiverton scoring: Ryan Ennis scored 23 points, Matt Gacioch scored 14, Jared Landoch scored 14, Shane Ramos scored 13, Luke Deldeo scored 4, Nate Sama scored 2. 

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