Rams down Tigers to advance to R-H Tournament title contest

By Mike Wertman, Sports Writer Posted 11 December 2015 at 12:00 am

Photos by Cheryl Wertman – Roy-Hart’s Andy Xapsos, who scored a game high 29 points, puts up a shot against Lyndonville defender Eric Neace during the host Rams win in the semifinals of the Roy-Hart Tip-Off Tournament this evening.

Putting together a big 15-4 scoring surge down the stretch, the host Rams bested Lyndonville 71-58 this evening in the semifinals of the Roy-Hart Tip-Off Tournament.

Andy Xapsos scored 10 of his game high 29 points to spearhead the Rams decisive uprising.

With Roy-Hart holding a narrow 56-54 lead Xapsos scored back-to-back baskets to give the Rams a little breathing room.

A rebound bucket by Chris Anderson followed by a layup by Xapsos upped the Rams advantage to 64-56.

The Rams then put a lock on the victory by scoring the game’s final 7 points from the free throw line, the first 4 by Xapsos and the final 3 by Justin Heschke.

Roy-Hart’s Jacob Bruning drives by Lyndonville’s Zach Johnson.

Lyndonville had jumped out to a 12-9 first period lead as Eric Neace scored 6 and Eddie Schildt 4.

Two threes and a jumper by Zach Johnson, along with two buckets by Neace, helped boost the Tigers lead to 8 at 26-18 with 2:50 to go in the second quarter.

Back-to-back threes by Xapsos rallied Roy-Hart into a 27-26 lead but Lyndonville answered with a pair of free throws by Jacob Hoffee to regain a narrow 28-27 lead at the half.

Three baskets by Schildt, along with a two and a three by Nick Hinkson, kept the Tigers up 37-32 early in the third period.

However, Roy-Hart battled back with a 16-7 surge to close the period and rally into a 48-44 lead at the three-quarter mark. Eight points by Xapsos spearheaded that surge.

A three by Ben Maynard and a layup by Justin Heschke put Roy-Hart up 53-48 early in the final stanza off setting Lyndonville baskets by Hinkson and Corey Hydock.

Lyndonville’s Corey Hydock blocks a shot attempt by Roy-Hart’s Tim Moriarity.

A  jumper and two free throws by Neace rallied Lyndonville to within one at 53-52 but the Tigers could not pull even as the Rams answered with a deciding 18-6 run to close the contest and lock up the win.

Maynard finished with 12 points, Heschke and Jacob Bruning 9, Anderson 7, Matt Borel 3 and Austin Dodge 2 for the Rams.

Neace finished with 17, Schildt 12, Hinkson 11, Hydock and Johnson 8 each and Hoffee 2 for the Tigers.

Roy-Hart next faces Tonawanda in the championship game at 5 p.m. Saturday while Lyndonville will take on Holley for third place honors at 3 p.m. Tonawanda nipped Holley 42-39 in the other semi.

Lyndonville’s Eddie Schildt puts up a shot over Roy-Hart’s Chris Anderson.