Fuller goes for 28 points as ‘zoned-in’ Blues beat
Richlands (89) Vs. Tazewell (57)
Feb 05, 2016
Bluefield Daily Telegraph
TAZEWELL, Va. — With Richlands facing a big rematch with Union on Saturday, the stage was set for the Blues to overlook their struggling county rival on Friday night.
No such luck.
Richlands outscored the Bulldogs 31-8 in the first quarter and the Blue Tornado two-platooned its way to an 89-57 win at Tazewell Middle School.
“We’re zoned in,” said Blues head coach Fred Phillips, whose team lost 65-64 to the 2A West rival Bears last Saturday.
“After the Union game last weekend we had a little what you’d call a prayer meeting. All 15 of us and the coaching staff are on a mission. Every game.”
Cody Fuller led the Blues (13-3) hitting six 3-pointers on his way to a game-high 28 points. All but three of those points were in the first half. Luke Phillips hit five trifectas en route to 17 points.
“Cody shot the ball well. Luke shot the ball well and Ethan (Ratliff) got the ball to our shooters,” coach Phillips said. “Our bigs, when we went inside early and they collapsed, they kicked it out to Luke and Cody,” said Phillips, who got nine points apiece from Taylor Horn and Scottie Ball.
Tazewell coach Tom Rife was encouraged to see his players taking to their home floor in front of the most-packed gymnasium in recent memory. But while the Bulldogs (1-17) have made incremental improvements throughout the season, his players weren’t quite mentally ready to shine in front of a crowded house.
"We got a little bit of buzz going with our team here at Tazewell. I think my team got blinded by the bright lights a little bit,” Rife said.
“We came out a little tight and we came out tight against a team that was hot. Give Richlands credit. They came out embracing the bright lights and we came out a little bit stunned,” he said.
Josh Murray led the Bulldogs with nine points. Dakota Griffith scored eight for Tazewell, which sank nine 3-pointers on the night.
“We can do a little better than what our approach was at the beginning of the game,” Rife said. “But for us to come out in front of a big crowd ... that’s a good thing for us. But we have to embrace that a little bit.
“We’ll just put this one behind us and see if we can get the net one,” he said.
The Tazewell boys face Bland County tonight in a boys-only match up. The junior varsity is set to tip off at 4 p.m.
Richlands faces an entirely different brood of Bears today in the grand finale of a matinee quad . The JV girls tip off at 2 p.m.

At Tazewell Middle School
Luke Phillips 6 0-0 17, Grant Herndon 0 0-0 0, Cody Fuller 11 0-0 28, Ethan Ratliff 1 0-0 2, Bryce Farris 1 0-1 2, Mackenzie Smith 1 0-0 3, Ben Thomason 2 4-4 10, Brennan Richardson 1 0-0 3, Adam Taylor 1 2-2 4, Taylor Horn 4 1-2 9, Scottie Ball 4 1-2 9, Caleb Altizer 0 0-0 0, Cameron Hedrick 0 0-0 0, Landon Lowe 0 2-2 2. Totals 32 8-13 89.
Dakota Griffiths 3 0-0 8, Hunter Mullins 1 0-0 3, Josh Murray 3 0-0 9, T.J. Kitts 2 0-0 5, Alex Vanhoozer 3 0-0 6, Ben Samaniego 3 1-2 5, Jason Watson 2 0-1 5. Totals 23 1-3 57.
Richlands.............31 29 21 8 — 89
Tazewell................8 15 21 13 — 57
3-point goals: Richlands 15 (Phillips 5, Fuller 6, Smith, Thomason 2, Richardson), Tazewell 9 (Griffith 2, Mullins, Murray 3, Cruise, Samaniego, Kitts).
Nightly Roundup
Game Scoreboard
Richlands 31 29 21 8 0 89
Tazewell 8 15 21 13 0 57
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