Ty Reddin and a golden era in Cape Central hoops

Cape Central's Tyrus Reddin (5) powers past Notre Dame's Kam Dohogne (11) in the Bulldogs' 38-37 2OT win over the Tigers in the C4D1 final, March 7, 2020.
Jacob Wiegand ~ jwiegand@semissourian.com

No Summer Olympics.

No NBA, no NHL.

No March Madness.

It’s surprising to discover how wearying it is to key the word “no” over and over into a Word document.

Good heavens, even the national pastime, major league baseball, is indefinitely delayed.

With apologies to Shakespeare, his words slightly altered here due to the exigencies of the moment: “Now is the spring of our discontent.”

Someone once opined that it’s always darkest just before the dawn.

Enough with the tropes.

Stop the platitudes.

Just bring us some games, please.

At this point, we’d be glad to watch curling, so long as it was live.

COVID-19 will eventually be put down and in the meantime, we content ourselves with DIY home projects, we’ll fire up our Internet streaming services and we’ll continue to play with our pets.

Those of us who write sports for a living are combing through the files of past accomplishments.

In Southeast Missouri, we don’t have to look too far.

Central goes to Church

Cape Girardeau Central boys basketball has enjoyed a remarkable run in head coach Drew Church’s 14-year tenure.

The Tigers last had a losing season in 2008-09, when the orange, black and white went 10-17.

Since that sub-.500 season, Central has gone 219-83 (.725) in the last 11 campaigns.

The last four years (89-25, .781) have been even better from a pure wins-and-losses perspective.

The rise of Reddin

A constant through this period (2016-2020) has been Church’s 5-foot-9 senior guard Tyrus Reddin.

Church believes Reddin may well be the hoopster with the most wins as a player in Central history.

Reddin’s stat line in his final year was his best: 14.2/4.7/3.7 in points, assists and steals per game.

“Ty started off-and-on his freshman year,” said Church, 40. “But he’s been our on-the-court general his whole career here.”

Reddin's college prospects

Church says Reddin, 18, also an accomplished running back on Kent Gibbs’ Central football team, has a promising future if he takes basketball to the next level.

“Some (college) will get a steal,” said Church. “(Ty’s) a winner.

“It’s not just (Reddin’s) scoring but the little things he does: he’s quick to the ball, accelerates well, distributes (the ball) unselfishly and as his stats indicate, can steal,” he added.

Church nearly runs out of adjectives to describe speedy No. 5.

“(Reddin) is athletic enough to rebound,” said Church, “and he’s very strong. Ty won’t be overpowered.”

Central’s athletic director, Tyson Moyers, added his two cents in a similar vein.

“(Ty) is one of the toughest kids I have ever been around,” said Moyers, a Chaffee grad in his first year as Tigers A.D.

“(Reddin) is very quiet and unassuming,” Moyers added. “He leads by example.”

Central's recent prowess

During Reddin’s last three years, Central made it to the final of Class 4, District 1, winning once in 2019 when Church’s crew finished 26-4.

Central lost in 2018 to that year’s district champ Sikeston.

Two-and-a-half weeks ago, the Tigers fell in an epic district final to Paul Unterreiner’s Notre Dame Bulldogs.

The Dawg Pound was rocking March 7 as Notre Dame pulled off a thrilling 38-37 double-overtime win over Central.

“I haven’t watched film of the game yet,” admitted Church. “Some games stay with you and this one has.”

We may look back on this period as a true golden era in Central’s Jungle.

Since 2011, Church’s teams have exceeded 20 wins seven times.

What’s still missing on the University of Evansville product’s resume is a state championship.

Central last won the biggest of all prep high school games in 1980, when Dan Milligan’s Tigers won the Class 4A crown.

Central also won it in 1954 under the legendary Lou Muegge.

Church juggles his responsibilities as boys basketball coach and Central High assistant principal with being the married father of two: Kate, 10 and Ryland, 5.

No anxiety about the future

He will lose seven seniors from this year’s 22-6 team.

In addition to Reddin, Church will bid goodbye to two big men, Doreante’ Tucker and Dorian Triplett, both 6-foot-3, plus T’Angelo Thornton, Zachary Moore, Quintaven Barber and Dalton Upchurch.

If Church is concerned about the immediate future of the program, he doesn’t show it.

“I’ll miss (the seniors) terribly, but I’m not worried,” said Church.

“Lots of hungry young men (are) waiting for their turn,” he added.

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