RANDOLPH — Kevin Hind didn't expect his team's best stretch of the night to occur with his son on the bench.
In his first game after setting the Western New York record for career three-pointers, Randolph star senior Tyler Hind endured a frustrating night of foul trouble, even as he scored a game-high 30 points Thursday against Salamanca. Sitting with his fourth foul with almost three minutes remaining in the third quarter with a 13-point lead, 51-38, Hind sat for nearly six minutes, into the fourth quarter, and saw his teammates maintain the lead so when he returned with 5:28 to play, up 58-45, Randolph could hold on for a 71-54 CCAA East I victory.
“Tyler, he went aggressive, he got upset at halftime and there was some talk and stuff going out on the court, I told him, 'Composure, you've got to keep your head and composure,'” said Kevin Hind of his son’s foul trouble. “He hits a big 3 to start the half and then goes down and makes a silly foul for three(-point play) and then he thought he had a steal here and boom, got his fourth one and now he's on the bench with a 13-point lead.”
Ranked fifth in the state in Class C, Randolph hopes it won't have to play without Hind often, but prepared for situations like Thursday night, ever since a concerning moment over the summer. It passed the test in front of a raucous crowd, with full bleachers thanks to the annual "Cards vs. Cancer" charity night and a spectator bus from Salamanca.
“We were in the summer league and the game was kind of in check, I think we were playing Olean,” Kevin Hind recalled. “They started pressing us at the end and I'd taken Ty out and we turned it over like three or four times in a row and it cut the lead. We've worked on it a lot. That's why we put Rochester East on our schedule, so you're used to that pressure. You take a loss (67-43 on Dec. 21) there to them so you're in a big league game at home with your best player on the bench, and it’s the best part of the night. Guys stepped up. We got a big dunk (from Gabe McCoy) with Ty on the bench for our energy and my guys played their tails off all night and it ended up being a good night, good win.”
Tyler Hind scored half his points in the second quarter with 15, including a stretch of three consecutive three-pointers as the Cardinals build a 36-27 halftime lead.
Kaleb Steward helped close the game with nine of his 18 points in the fourth quarter, and dished out a team-high seven assists. Center Gabe McCoy had 12 points and 10 rebounds.
"I told Ike (Morrison, assistant coach) the other day, if Ty wasn’t on the team, Kaleb would average 20 points a game," Kevin Hind said. "He’s a great player and a great teammate. He leads the team in assist to turnover ratio. Kaleb Steward is really, really having a great year."
Isaac Brown (five rebounds) and Aaron George (seven assists) scored 13 points each for Salamanca. Jarod White had 12 points and 13 rebounds before fouling out late in the fourth quarter and Lucus Brown chipped in 10 points of his own.
Randolph (12-1, 6-0) won the turnover battle 24-14 and shot 29-for-64 from the field (45%). The Warriors (9-6, 3-3) had one of their best shooting nights of the season, making 9-of-17 three-pointers (53%), but turnovers, especially in the first half, kept their offense from a bigger scoring night.
“The turnovers early hurt us,” Salamanca coach Adam Bennett said. “Coach (Greg) Herrick told me at the half that 40 percent of their points in the first half were off turnovers. That's a credit to them. They sell out on pressure and they have guys that are really smart doing it. So they take your first and second reads away and make sure that you don't get to a third or fourth read.
“I thought we did a better job in the second half not turning it over, but then (Randolph) played great, especially when Ty got four fouls. I thought their role players played really well. But we did a lot of good things, to have four guys in double-figures against this kind of defense on their home floor is a good sign. But we've yet to put it all together against them, and to beat a team like them, you have to. You just have to.”
Bennett thought his team didn’t run out of gas, but the Cardinals simply matched their energy in those crucial minutes without Hind.
"They're a good program and a good team, so when Ty went out, we tried to ramp up our energy and our pressure, and I thought to be honest, they did," Bennett said. "So that was the turning point in the game. We had it to 11 points and he's out of the game and we're feeling good and we're going to be aggressive and trap and they got it to 15 or 16 before he got back in. So I don't think that was us, that's a credit to them. Sometimes you get beat and they don't lose here often and they did a really good job of picking up for their teammate, picking up the slack and playing hard."
With five seniors, including Hind and Steward, the Cardinals showed their experience and poise Thursday night.
"Two years ago, when my guys (2020 seniors) were sophomores," Kevin Hind said, "and Franklinville had that really good team that went to states and they were all seniors, I talked to them that night about what it'll be like when you're the seniors and you have that senior strength, that senior savvy, you've been through these games. Kaleb, Gabe and Ty have started probably 70 games between the three of them and Branson (Morrison)'s started another 50 and Ty Rosengren's been with me. So there's a lot of experience there that pays off."
J. McKenna 0 2-2 2, I. Brown 5 0-0 13, L. McKenna 0 0-1 0, Pond 2 0-0 4, L. Brown 4 0-0 10, George 4 1-2 13, White 5 2-4 12. Totals: 20 5-9 54.
Steward 7 3-4 18, T. Hind 12 1-2 30, Morrison 1 0-0 2, Bushey 2 0-0 6, Rosengren 1 0-0 3, McCoy 6 0-2 12. Totals: 29 4-8 71.
Salamanca 10 27 41 54
Randolph 15 36 56 71
Three-point goals: Sala 9 (I. Brown 3, L. Brown 2, George 4); Rand 9 (Hind 5, Bushey 2, Steard, Rosengren). Total fouls: Sala 11, Rand 13. Fouled out: White (S).
JV: Randolph 50-45.