Tolsia's Terry Davis (21) dribbles up court as Robert C. Byrd's Luke Dyer (14) defends him during a Class AA boys basketball state tournament game on Thursday, March 14, 2013, in the Charleston Civic Center.
CHARLESTON -- There's a simple concept in basketball.
If a team doesn't hold on to the basketball, a team has no chance to score.
Turnovers plagued Tolsia from the game's onset and the Rebels finished with 20 as Robert C. Byrd earned a 51-44 win in the Class AA quarterfinals at Charleston Civic Center on Thursday evening.
"We probably picked the worst time ever to play the worst three quarters of basketball that we could," Tolsia coach Jason Hatfield said.
After trailing by as many as 17, Tolsia cut it to 48-44 following a 3-pointer and two free throws by Terry Davis with 29 seconds left. Davis led the Rebels with 20 in the loss.
Robert C. Byrd missed several free throws in a two-minute stretch to allow the Rebels to make the quick run.
Sloppiness late in the third quarter proved costly for the Rebels as turnovers led to Robert C. Byrd points at a crucial stage of the game.
Tolsia trailed just 27-24 with under two minutes left, but three straight turnovers led to a 7-0 run for the Eagles that pushed the advantage to double-digits at the end of the quarter.
Robert C. Byrd used another steal to lead to a layup and a 3-pointer by Nick Dyer to push the lead to 39-24 and force Hatfield into a timeout.
The Rebels never got any closer than 12 points.
"Especially with teams like that, that's the way they play," Hatfield said. "It was 27-24 and I think they scored 12 straight. It's hard to battle back. Give our guys credit. They didn't quit. We were still battling with 20 seconds left."
With so many turnovers, the Rebels were never able to get leading scorer Morgan Stacy into an offensive rhythm.
Stacy's first points came on a pair of free throws with 1:33 left in the third quarter. He came into the contest averaging 15 points a game, but ended the day with just six points. His first field goal came with 3:43 left. That gave him 1,000 points for his Tolsia career.
Tolsia looked a bit out-of-sorts throughout, but used a late 6-0 to end the first half and pull within 21-19 at the break.
Hatfield was happy to see his team trailing by just two at the break after a half in which they had nine turnovers and were outrebounded 19-12 with Robert C. Byrd having nine offensive rebounds.
"You're never happy to be down, but that was best-case scenario at that point," Hatfield said. "We were lucky to be down two points. We knew the third quarter was going to be big."
Robert C. Byrd got a balanced scoring attack with Devonti Birch ending with 13 points. Nick Dyer and Luke Dyer added 12 and 10 respectively.
It was the first state tournament win for Robert C. Byrd since defeating George Washington 55-48 in 1996 - the school's first year of existence.
The Eagles move on to meet top-seed Bluefield at 7:15 on Friday evening.
TOLSIA 6 13 5 20 - 44: Williamson 4, Brewer 7, Clark 7, Davis 20, Stacy 6
ROBERT C BYRD 13 8 13 17 - 51: Hill 7, N. Dyer 12, Birch 13, L. Dyer 10, Noble 6, Steele 1, Langford 2