Streak Ends as King Quieted by Queens
CHARLOTTE, N.C. – Logan Lyle continued his strong play leading the King Tornado with 20 points. The effort fell short and the Navy and Scarlett lost their first conference game of the season behind an off-shooting night, 70-56.
No team held more than a six-point advantage, and even that was short-lived when King jumped out to an early 12-6 lead behind a pair of threes and a trio of free throws made by Logan Lyle (Unicoi, Tenn.). Lio Gedeon (Marsh Harbor, Bahamas) ended the run with a layup fed by the freshman forward. King held that lead until just under the seven-minute mark when Queens took the lead for the first time on a layup by Antonio Stabler, 18-16.
The Tornado and the Royals traded the lead with a pair of miniature runs over the next four minutes. Down two, King stormed back with six straight points, working the paint with layups from Brandon Goss (St. Louis, Mo.) and DeShaun Greer (Lewisburg, Tenn.) to retake the lead, 22-18. Stabler put on a display, helping Queens back into the lead with a layup and a three-pointer in consecutive possessions to return a one-point lead to the hosts. Both teams then battled to the half with Queens holding a two-point edge, 28-26.
Queens jumped out on a 13-6 run to begin the second half, fueled by nine points from Daniel Bailey. Holding an 11-point lead six minutes into the second half, the Royals maintained a ten-point or better lead until 7:09 left in the game. King trimmed the deficit to six points after Eddie Piccinini (Orlando, Fla.) hit one of his two three pointers and a pair of free throws, but Queens again responded with a nine-point run that gave them the cushion toward a 70-56 win over the Tornado.
Brandon Goss and Lio Gedeon each ended the night with eight rebounds and combined for 11 points. Lyle led the Tornado with 20 points with nine points coming from the charity stripe and a trio of threes. It is his second 20-plus point game in a row and third in his last five games. Piccinini finished with 14 points, his eighth consecutive double-digit scoring game. King shot 29.8 percent from the field, 23.8 percent from behind the arc.
King, now 12-1 in Conference Carolinas play, currently holds a half-game advantage over Queens (11-1) for the number one overall seed. They have three conference games remaining in the regular season to Queens' four. The Tornado have Lees-McRae (8-14, 7-6) next on the schedule, set to play on Feb. 14 in Banner Elk, North Carolinas. They will close the season with Pfeiffer (11-10, 5-6) on the road and the season finale at home on Feb. 24 against Erskine (7-16, 3-9).