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The Thunderbolt men opened up their playoff slate with a matchup against the La Junta Tigers. La Junta played very well against Rye, forcing a gritty defensive game. The Tigers held Rye to only five points in the final quarter of the game, preventing a comeback. La Junta would win the game 48-44. With the loss, Rye went into the consolation bracket, having to excel there to advance in the tournament. Senior Kevin Bailey scored 15 points in the loss; Bryson Benedict also had a good night, scoring 13. “The La Junta game was a good wakeup call for us” said Coach Maroney, “we didn’t play as hard as we could have, it was a bit embarrassing, but we have bounced back well.”
Entering the consolation bracket, Rye played a tough game against the Vanguard Coursers. After falling behind, Rye put together a dominant second quarter. The Bolts were able to keep a Courser rally at bay, and escape with a hard fought 73-70 win. Benedict exploded for 25 points in the victory. Bailey added 22 in the big win.
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