Full Steam Ahead For Tyner Ram Train in State Tournament
Chattanooga-(WDEF-TV) Tyner Academy is the only local boys basketball team to make it to the state tournament. The Rams are headed to Murfreesboro this week for the first time in four years.
Tyner’s run to state might be a bit surprising since they have a new head coach and some new starting players.
Said forward Solomon Bridgeman:”Everybody kind of counted us out this year since we lost a lot of pieces. People like DeMarcus Young and Kevin Cameron. We lost four starters actually.”
Said head coach E’Jay Ward:”This senior group had three coaches in the past four years. Getting them to buy into what I’m selling was an adjustment for me and the guys as well.”
But Coach Ward knew if he got that little extra effort, it would yield big results.
Thus the inspiration for the message on the Rams warm-ups. “212, the one extra degree.”
Said Ward:”At 211 water gets hot. Real, real hot. But at 212, water boils, and when boiling water becomes steam, then the steam can power the ‘Ram Train’. The one extra degree means a lot.”
And defense means a lot to Coach Ward.
Said Bridgeman:”Defense is the key for us, especially for Coach Ward. If you can’t play defense, then you can’t play for this team.”
Said guard Jeremy Elston:”Our defense is like terrific. We’re like a real fast team, so we can move around the court real fast. Our defense is key to our winning ways and stuff like that.”
Said Ward:”You know we press a lot. We try to play at least ten guys to keep fresh legs. For the most part these last couple of games, it has been working out in our favor.”
Depth could be huge since Tyner will have to play three games in three days to win the state title.
Said Ward:”I want them to enjoy the state tournament, but at the same time, we are going up there to win. You know business is business. When it’s time to play, hopefully my guys lock in, and we’ll be ready to rock and roll.”