by Mike Nutter
CHARLESTON -- He's just a sophomore, a substitute who began the season on the junior varsity team. He's not exactly the player one figured to rise to the occasion of the quarterfinals of the boys Class A state basketball tournament.
Minutes following his team's 48-43 upset win over Wheeling Central, Doddridge County's Brad Wilt spoke as confidently about his role he had played in his team's win.
Wilt's line -- a team-high 16 points and five rebounds in 15 minutes of play.
"I don't think I've ever had a game like this," Wilt said. "I was just trying to go in and help my team out any way I could just like I have all season.
"I was just trying to contribute. I really didn't think it would be in the biggest game we've had all season."
Wilt's previous high this season was nine points. His season average was four points -- seventh highest on the team.
From the moment Wilt entered the game, the sophomore reserve forward made things happen for the Bulldogs. With his team trailing 11-9 late in the first quarter, he came in and sparked a 17-2 run with 10 points, including four off offensive rebounds.
His biggest moment came with 14 seconds to play and his team up by two points. Doddridge County starting center Rick Hamilton rebounded a miss shot and was fouled, but injured his ankle on the way down.
With Hamilton unable to shoot, Wilt came off the bench and sank both ends of the one-and-one to help seal the win and advance the Bulldogs into today's 10 a.m. semifinal against Marsh Fork.
"Earlier in the season, I missed two foul shots at the end of a JV game that would've won the game for us," Wilt said. "This was a little bigger, and I didn't want to go through that again."
One area of concern for Elkins coach Steve Wamsley was containing Capital's leading scorer Darrion Scott.
Scott, who averages 17.4 points, was held to seven points thanks in large part to a zone defense designed to front and keep another defender behind the 6-foot-3 center. For the most part it worked, as Scott attempted just five shots from the floor and was one of six at the free throw line.
Elkins' center, J.D. Cooper, offered a much simpler explanation of his team's defensive scheme.
"(Scott) is a really big guy," he said. "He's really hard to handle inside. If he gets the ball in front of you, you'd better foul him hard enough that the ball doesn't go in."
Most of Thursday's attention was focused on the Paw Paw-Marsh Fork Class A quarterfinal.
Paw Paw, the third smallest school in the state with a total enrollment of 47, featured the state's all-time leading scorer in Josh Delawder.
Delawder, who entered the game averaging 37.6 points, was held to a season-low 25 points on seven-of-19 shooting.
However, Marsh Fork's Daniel Duncan picked up the slack, pouring in 35 points in his team's 77-57 win.
"By no means did we stop Josh Delawder today," Duncan said. "We felt like if we could just contain him, we could win. That's basically what we did."
After one quarter of last night's 89-64 Tug Valley win over Wyoming East, fans and media alike were scrambling through the state tournament program.
The reason: Tug Valley standout Greg Davis.
The 5-7 point guard put on the most impressive performance of this year's tournament, sinking eight 3-pointers to break the previous mark of seven. By halftime, Davis had already tied the mark, connecting on seven-of-10 attempts and finished with 34 points.