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Fort Defiance boys basketball team beats Riverheads

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FORT DEFIANCE — Fort Defiance outscored the Riverheads Gladiators 21-9 in the fourth quarter Saturday to take a 48-39 victory in Shenandoah District boys basketball action.

“We scored on 10 of our 15 possessions in the fourth quarter which is really good and we also made 9-of-11 foul shots in the fourth quarter,” said Fort head coach Brandon Fulk. “We had a tough third quarter, but we played pretty well in that fourth quarter.”

Both teams struggled in the opening quarter. Fort made just one field goal in the first eight minutes with Tyreek Veney scoring all six of Fort’s points in the quarter. Riverheads’ Levi Byer hit a 3-pointer from the corner with two seconds left, giving Riverheads a 10-6 lead after one period.

“i thought we ran some pretty good offense in the first quarter, but we couldn’t get any shots to fall,” said Fulk. “I told them the shots would eventually start falling and a few did in the second quarter.”

The Indians got hot from long range in the second quarter to take the lead.

Veney hit a 3-pointer and a driving layup to put the Indians up 11-10, but Noah Williams scored the next three points for a 13-11 Riverheads lead.

The Indians then hit the Gladiators with an 11-1 spurt to take their biggest lead of first half. Drew Smith hit a pair of 3-pointers and Samuel Garber added a long-range 3-ball, giving Fort a 22-14 lead.

Riverheads then answered with seven straight points to close the half. Byer scored six of the points, including a baseline jumper at the buzzer to pull Riverheads to within one, 22-21, at the break.

Henry Gutshall opened the second half with a three-point play to put the Indians up by four, but that turned out to be Fort’s lone field goal of the quarter. Byer scored six points during a 9-0 Riverheads spurt, giving the visitors a 30-25 lead. Veney went 2-of-4 at the foul line to pull the Indians to within three, 30-27, entering the fourth quarter.

Fort scored the first nine points of the fourth quarter and led the rest of the way. Garber tallied from in close and Veney knocked down a 3-pointer to put the Fort up 32-30. Veney followed with a 15-footer and Bradley Hebb added two foul shots for a 36-30 Indians’ lead with 5:30 left to play.

Fort’s Kaden Johnson hit 5-of-6 foul shots in the final minute to close out the 48-39 victory.

Veney finished with 20 points before fouling out to lead the Fort offense. Garber added eight points. Byer lead all scorers with 24 points and was the only Riverheads player to make more than one field goal in the contest.

“Defensively, our emphasis was on containing (Ryan) Farris and (Bennett) Dunlap.” said Fulk. “We wanted to make someone else beat us and Number 3 (Byer) almost did. He played a heck of a game.”

The Indians also won the junior varsity game, 33-32.


RIVERHEADS 10 11 9 9 — 39

FORT DEFIANCE 6 16 5 21 — 48

RIVERHEADS (39) — Byer 9 5-6 24, Morris 1 2-3 5, Farris 1 0-2 4, Williams 1 1-3 3, Slack 1 1-2 3, Lightner 1 1-2 3, Dunlap, Milo, Brooks, TOTALS 14 10-18 39.

FORT DEFIANCE (48) — Veney 6 6-8 20, Simmons 0 0-3 0, Smith 2 0-0 6, Garber 3 0-0 8, Hebb 1 2-2 4, Gutshall 1 3-3 5, Johnson 0 5-6 5, Liskey, Bruce, TOTALS 13 16-21 48.


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