By TONY STINNETT
Tanner Larson received an early return on his investment.
The Cannon County junior forward scored a career-high 20 points on 9-of-15 shooting to help lead the Lions to a 71-53 win against Cumberland County in the season opener at Robert A. Harris Gymnasium Tuesday (Nov. 13).
Larson said hard work during the offseason paid off right away.
“I have worked during the offseason but our team has worked hard all spring and summer and hopefully that is paying off for us,” Larson said. “My teammates got me the ball around the goal or behind the defense and I just finished shots.”
Larson finished a lot of shots.
So did senior post Ethan Bryson, who finished with eight points on 4-of-7 shooting.
The Lions used an inside advantage over the smaller Jets with the 6-foot-4 Larson and 6-5 Bryson feasting on the opposing forwards.
The two combined to shoot 14-of-21. Larson also added five rebounds.
“I was proud of (Bryson) because his makes were more with his back to the basket in the halfcourt setting,” Cannon County Head Coach Matt Rigsby said. “(Larson) finished a lot of shots. He was the beneficiary of being the back guy in our press offensive so he had a lot of opportunities and he finished. I was pleased with both of them.”
Cory Henley also reached double figures with 11 points. Jarrett Melton and Tommy Mitchell had solid all-around games. Both players scored eight points. Melton added seven assists and seven steals. Mitchell added five assists, four rebounds and two steals.
The Lions did not shoot well beyond 15 feet. They were 3-of-13 from 3-point range for 23 percent and hit just 6-of-12 free throws. The Lions did dish out 22 assists on their 31 field goals.
Cannon County’s three primary guards – Henley, Melton and Mitchell – were a combined 11-of-29 from the field.
Read more in The Cannon Courier's print edition.