Dominating duo: 2 for the money as 2000-04 Tomcats win big

ASHLAND, Ky. – Mark Surgalski and Arliss Beach were one of the most formidable duos in Ashland Tomcat history.

The 2005-2009 Tomcats learned that the hard way in the Tomcat Shootout.

In a thoroughly dominating victory, the 2000-2004 Tomcats romped 110-96 in a game that wasn’t as close as it sounds. Surgalski scored 37 and Beach collected 15 points and 10 assists in the buzzer to buzzer victory.

The game was tied once at 4-4 but the 2005-2009 Tomcats never led for one second. Surgalski’s dominating play made sure of it. He was 12 of 23 from the field and sank all 11 of his free throw attempts. A big man with touch is a good thing.

It was a 3-pointer from Surgalski with 5:23 remaining that snuffed out any hope for the 2005-09 Tomcats, who had pulled within 97-89 on Dylan Delaney’s reverse layup.

Beach came right back and fired a skip pass to Surgalski who was set up behind the 3-point line. He fired and swished it to make it 100-89 and the advantage never dipped below double figures. And that’s when people started leaving Anderson gym and wondering if the 2005-09 Tomcats had any chance in the best-of-3 series.

“When Surgalski is bombing in threes and Beach is doing whatever he wants out there, there’s not much hope of winning,” said frustrated 2005-09 coach Buddy Biggs. “I tried everything against Surgalski. He abused us with whatever we tried. We surrounded him, we set up in front of him and behind him and he still scored. He owned us.”

Not only did they lead the entire way but the advantage once swelled to 28 points at 89-61 when Derek Cooksey used a stop-and-go move to zip around his defender.

“I tell you what, we played some good basketball tonight and I don’t mean just Mark and Arliss,” said 2000-04 coach Mike Flynn. “These guys were ready to play. There was some smack talk going on in pregame warmups. That was a bad idea. Surgalski and Beach came into the locker room before the game with fire in their eyes.”

Danny Coleman tried to get in Surgalski’s head during the game, with some digs at him that nobody else heard, but it obviously backfired. The mental warfare became fuel for one of the best bigs in Tomcat history. He also had 10 rebounds.

“Those guys were running their mouths a little too much,” Surgalski said. “I was pumped. I’m ready to play the next game now. Quit the talking and play the game.”

Coleman, who had nine points, said he was just having some fun with Surgalski. “But it sure wasn’t fun for us when he put 37,” he said. “I’ll keep my mouth shut from now on. I was just trying to continue a Bradley family tradition of badgering opponents. It’s part of my DNA.”

Beach was super too with some pinpoint passing that freed up Adam Howard and Jeremy Howell for open jumpers. They scored 11 and 13, respectively. Zack Davis also had 11 points.

“Five in double figures is a lot when one guy has 37 points,” Flynn said. “Any of those five can have a game like Mark had tonight. I like this team a lot. We can challenge anybody in this series.”

Cooksey put the 2000-04 Tomcats into a double-figure lead the first time at 25-14 with 1:31 remaining in the first quarter.

“We have to put this one behind us,” Biggs said. “We’re better than we played tonight but it will take a super effort to beat these guys. We can’t let Surgalski and Beach have their way against us. I’ll be up all night trying to figure it out.”

Drew McDavid and Ryan Bonner scored 17 apiece and Matt Thomas added 12 points and nine rebounds for the 2005-09 Tomcats.

Bonner and Brett Miller found themselves in foul trouble trying to slow down Surgalski.

One encouraging note for the 2005-09 Tomcats: They had a 54-36 rebounding advantage and launched 100 field goal attempts.

The 2000-04 Tomcats shot 52 percent from the field and made all 15 of their free throws.

“That rebound statistic is puzzling but something we can build on,” Biggs said.

2000-2004 TOMCATS (110) – Beach 7-12 0-0 15, Howard 4-8 0-0 11, Surgalski 12-23 11-11 37, Howell 5-12 2-2 13, Davis 5-10 0-0 11, Salyer 1-6 2-2 4, Cooksey 3-3 0-0 6, M.Johnson 4-5 0-0 8, J.Cook 1-1 0-0 2, C.Cook 1-2 0-0 3. FG: 43-82. FT: 15-15. 3FG: 9-25 (Beach 1-6, Howard 3-6, Surgalski 2-5, Howell 1-3, Davis 0-1, Salyer 0-2, M.Johnson 0-1. C.Cook 1-1). Rebounds: 36 (Howard 5, Surgalski 10, Howell 7, Davis 6, Salyer 3, Cooksey 2, M.Johnson 3). Assists: 26 (Beach 10, Howard 3, Surgalski 2, Howell 4, Davis 1, Salyer 2, Cooksey 2, M.Johnson 2). PF: 13. Turnovers: 10.

2005-2009 TOMCATS (96) – McDavid 7-14 2-3 17, Wilcox 4-14 1-2 9, Bonner 7-14 3-4 17, Miller 4-7 0-2 8, Thomas 5-14 2-2 12, Cannoy 2-9 1-1 5, C.Johnson 2-7 0-0 4, Coleman 4-6 0-0 9, Skaggs 3-7 0-0 8, Delaney 3-8 0-0 7. FG: 41-100. FT: 9-14. 3FG: 5-13 (McDavid 1-2, Wilcox 0-2, Bonner 0-1, Cannoy 0-1, Coleman 1-2, Skaggs 2-4, Delaney 1-1). Rebounds: 54 (McDavid 7, Wilcox 5, Bonner 9, Miller 7, Thomas 9, Cannoy 2, C.Johnson 6, Coleman 1, Skaggs 4, Delaney 4). Assists: 23 (McDavid 5, Wilcox 2, Bonner 4, Thomas 5, Cannoy 4, C.Johnson 2, Delaney 1). PF: 15. Turnovers: 15.

2000-2004 TOMCATS     31         27         31         21     –        110

2005-2009 TOMCATS     16         30         20         30     –         96



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