LYNCHBURG, Tenn. — There are no more unbeaten teams on the Tennessee Community College Athletic Association men's basketball side, thanks in large part to Walters State sophomore Miles Thomas.
The South-Doyle High School graduate was on fire from the opening tip to the closing horn Saturday evening, as he led the Senators to a 93-81 victory over two-time defending TCCAA champion Motlow State inside Copperweld Arena in a game that wasn't as close as the final score showed.
With the win, the Senators improved to 14-5 on the year and 5-2 in TCCAA action while the loss dropped the Bucks to 10-7 overall and 6-1 in league play. Motlow had been the last remaining unbeaten team in the league heading into Saturday's action.
Thomas was the catalyst for the Senators in the opening half, making 8 of 11 shots, including 4 of 6 from long range, as he pumped in 22 points in the frame. Westin Reynolds also sparked the team in the opening 20 minutes, scoring 13 points off the bench by making 6 of 7 shots.
The Senators hit 18 of 33 shots (54.5 percent) in the opening half, including 6 of 13 from 3-point land, and they were 10 of 12 at the charity stripe. Paris Taylor added 9 points and 7 rebounds in the opening half as well, while Kajuan Hale had 7 points and dished out 5 assists in 18 minutes of action.
The Bucks made 46.7 percent (14 of 30) of their shots in the first half, which included 5 of 14 from beyond the arc, and they were 5 of 9 at the free throw line. Darius Harding led the home team with 8 points in the half.
Walters State led by as much as 22 in the second half, before the Bucks picked away at the lead in the final five minutes to make it respectable.
The Senators shot 58.2 percent (32 of 55) for the game, knocking down 8 of 17 from long range and 21 of 29 at the line. Thomas finished with 34 points, 7 rebounds, 6 assists and 3 steals in the win, while Reynolds totaled 15 points, Hale added 12 points and 9 assists and Taylor and Jaden Lewis both had 11 points with Taylor raking down 7 rebounds in the win.
The Bucks shot 44.4 percent (28 of 63) in the game, making just 8 of 28 from long distance but 17 of 21 at the free throw line. Harding tallied 22 points in the loss, while Leo Castillo added 18 points, Joshua Greer had 12 points, Marcus Lacey added 11 points and Josh Endicott just missed a double-double with 9 points and 10 rebounds in the defeat.
The Senators will be back at home for another TCCAA game on Wednesday night when they play host to Cleveland State for a 7:30 p.m. contest.