STRYKER — Montpelier junior Tylor Yahraus scored 21 points as the Locomotive boys basketball team earned a 43-37 road victory over Stryker for its first Buckeye Border Conference win of the season on Thursday.

Stryker (1-8, 1-5) led 30-29 midway through the fourth quarter after a pair of Brandon Bowers free throws, but it was Montpelier (2-7, 1-4) that prevailed down the stretch.

“I’m proud of them,” Montpelier coach Justin Houk said. “We had a chance to win against Northwood last weekend, but we just didn’t finish the game. We were up five with a minute to go, but just didn’t finish. But we worked on that in practice all week, did a little film session, and I thought the boys did a good job of picking it up and winning the ballgame. So, hopefully, it translates to more wins by the end of the year.”

The two teams played a relatively even first half. The game was tied at 11 after the first quarter, and Montpelier managed to pull away to a 21-17 advantage by halftime.

Stryker came out of the second half with a quick 6-0 spurt to go up 23-21, but a timeout by Montpelier at the 5:18 mark of the third quarter stymied Stryker’s run, and the Locomotives were able to gather a 27-26 lead at the end of three quarters.

Leads were exchanged a few times early in the fourth quarter, before Montpelier went on an 8-2 run to take a 37-32 advantage after two Yahraus free throws with 1:18 to go in the game.

Stryker’s Joe Ramon answered on the other end with a 3-pointer to close Montpelier’s lead to 37-35 with 1:09 remaining, but it proved to be as close as the Panthers could get.

“We’re struggling,” said Stryker coach Tyler Woolace, whose team dropped its eighth consecutive game on Thursday. “I don’t know how to get the ship right yet, but we’ll figure it out, and we’ll get it right. The players and I together will get it right. Every loss we learn what we need to do to get better.”

Montpelier returns to action when it hosts Hilltop tonight. Stryker hosts Hilltop next Thursday.

Montpelier 43, Stryker 37

Montpelier 11 10 6 16 — 43

Stryker 11 6 9 11 — 37

Montpelier: Yahraus 4 1 10-10 21, Jay 2 0 3-4 7, Peffley 3 0 1-1 7, McCord 0 0 3-3 3, Altaffer 1 0 1-3 3, Eitniear 1 0 0-0 2. Totals: 11 1 18-22 43.

Stryker: Huffman 6 0 2-5 14, Holsopple 4 0 2-4 10, Liechty 2 1 0-0 7, Bowers 0 0 2-2 2, Treace 0 0 2-2 2, Clingaman 0 0 2-2 2, Barnum 0 0 0-2 0. Totals: 13 1 8-15 37.

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