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Bolton’s Mike Jones (44) and Tioga’s Orlando Williams (34) fight for a rebound in the first quarter Tuesday night. Indians coach Gene Wright -- Tioga’s third coach in three years -- said he was glad the team won, after defeating Bolton 57-32.

Photo Courtesy of Leandro Huebner / The Town Talk
Tioga earns victory over Bolton in Wright's debut as coach

By Will Tubbs • wtubbs@thetowntalk.com • November 19, 2008

It didn't take the Tioga Indians long to get used to their third coach in three years.

With new coach Gene Wright, who coached Grant last year, working his first regular season game with the Indians, Tioga (1-0) went on a 16-0 run to start the game and never looked back, eventually downing Bolton 57-32 on the road in the tip-off to the big school prep basketball season in Central Louisiana.

"Well, we're glad to get a win," Wright said. "That makes the ride home a little quicker. I thought Bolton worked very hard tonight. They didn't and never stopped working."

It took the Bears until the 1:25 mark in the first quarter to get on the board and until the 5:15 mark of the third quarter to hit their first field goal of the season.

The Indians, on the other hand, had no trouble finding their offense, outscoring Bolton 20-2 in the first quarter and leading 38-12 at the half.

"We feel good right now," said Tioga's Rodney Williams, one of three Indians in double figures. "We think we can have a good season this year. Tonight, we all played hard and got the win."

Williams dropped in 11 points of the night while Aldridge Grant scored 11 and Ked Lair, one of two football players to join the team this week, scored 10.

"We had two football players, Ked Lair and our quarterback Terrance Dorsey, who came back to us this week," Wright said. "They've been with us for two days and they really haven't had much of a chance to learn what it is we do, but I thought both did a good job given the circumstances."

Two of Bolton's top-three scorers were both named Mike Jones.

The Mike Jones who wears No. 34 led the team with 11 points, while Mike Jones in jersey 44 chipped in seven.

Billy Claiborne was good for eight points for the Bears, who fell to 0-1 on the season.

Even with his new team securing a convincing victory, Wright said he saw much need for improvement as Tioga moves toward district competition in the always-tough 3-4A.

"We're not nearly a smooth-running offense or defense yet," Wright said. "We've got a long ways to go before we get to where we want to be in both phases. But we've got some good players and hard workers. These are good kids and it's a pleasure to work with them. I'm expecting good things out of them this year."

In the girls game, the Tioga Lady Indians (1-0) also got their season off to a promising start with a 47-40 win over the Lady Bruins (0-1).

Fifteen points from Bolton's Brittany Jones, the highest individual effort of the game, were not enough as Tioga, led by 12 points from Aeriona Ray and nine points apiece from Cara Miley and TiAngela Byrd, logged the opening-day win.