RICHMOND — After opening the season with four losses — two of them heartbreakers — Floyd Central found their clutchness in a 64-61 victory over Portage in the opening round of the Bob Wettig Memorial Tournament at Richmond’s Tiernan Center on Friday.
On Thursday, Myles Ervin scored 28 points, including nine of Floyd’s final 11, in the initial victory for first-year Highlander coach Mark Lieberman.
“It was amazing to get our first win,” Ervin said. “That was a very exciting moment for us.”
“It’s nice to get a win,” Lieberman said. “I told the kids in the locker room [to] just win and move on.”
The Highlanders will face host Richmond in today’s second round at 8:30 p.m. The Red Devils are unbeaten and ranked No. 7 in Class 4A.
“They’re athletic, they’re long, they press, they have shooters,” Lieberman said of Richmond. “We’ll have our work cut out for us. We’ll just see what we can do.”
“We’re looking forward to it,” Ervin said.
The first three quarters were like a yo-yo. Portage came out and took a 7-0 lead. Ervin then scored five of seven points in a 7-0 Floyd run to make it 7-7 with 2:40 left in the opening period.
Portage caught on fire in the second and took a 10-point lead at 25-15 before Floyd closed the half on a 4-0 run. The Highlanders continued the run in the third quarter and tied the contest at 27-all on two Austin Newell free throws with 4:32 left in the period.
From that point, the biggest lead by either team was four by the Highlanders three times. They trailed 47-44 with 5:40 remaining when an Ervin drive cut the gap to 47-46. Ervin then completed a 3-point play to give Floyd a 49-48 lead with 3:11 remaining.
With two minutes left, Mike Lewis knocked down a 3 for a 55-51 Highlander lead. After the Indians tied the game at 58-apiece, Newell hit a layup when Floyd broke the Portage press.