WV HIGH SCHOOL BASKETBALL
From our Newspapers
Ross, Flanagan Pace Liberty
To 77-75 Win over Lincoln
By CHRIS ERRINGTON
Tuesday night, the Liberty boys basketball team found out the hard way that it takes 32 minutes of playing in order to win a game, after falling to No. 3 Tucker County. Thursday night, the Mountaineers needed every second of those 32 minutes to squeak out a 77-75 victory over Lincoln.
In one of the most exciting games of the year in the Big 10, Liberty rode the backs of Brian Ross and Luke Flanagan to improve to 5-3 on the year. Ross canned a game-high 27 points, and Flanagan scored nine points in the final 2:21 to gain the win. Even with the Mountaineer duo's great performance, Lincoln had one last shot to win the game, but a 3-pointer at the buzzer hit the back of the rim.
The emotional win was one that Liberty coach Russ Nutt will not soon forget.
"We needed a win like this in a game like this, because we've had some games that came down to the end and we didn't get it done." Nutt said. "I feel good for Luke, because he has been second guessing himself a lot on his shots. But, when we needed a big shot tonight, he got the job done."
The Mountaineers came out on fire, as they quickly took a 6-0 lead. The lead stretched to 11-4 before the Cougars battled back and closed the gap to 15-14 after the first quarter.
Lincoln grabbed a 28-19 lead in the second quarter, before a late 8-0 run by Liberty made the score 32-30 in favor of Lincoln, entering halftime.
The real excitement started in the third quarter as the lead switched hands five times. Both teams shot extremely well during the quarter, and subsequently neither was able to gain a lead larger than four points. Bryan Harman accounted for nine of the Mountaineers' 18 points in the quarter, as Liberty headed into the final eight minutes with a 48-46 lead.
The game remained close until the 1:29 mark, when Flanagan's 3-pointer gave the Mountaineers a 69-66 lead that they would never relinquish.
Four free throws by Flanagan and Harman gave the Mountaineers what seemed like an insurmountable 73-66 lead with :33 remaining.
However, the Cougars refused to die, and Danny Hardesty nailed a 3-pointer to close the deficit to four, 73-69. After an intentional foul on the Cougars, Lincoln stole an inbounds pass and Hardesty's two free throws pulled the Cougars to within 74-71.
Two more Flanagan free throws pushed the score up to 76-71, before Hardesty was fouled after making a 3-pointer. The free throw closed the gap to 76-75, and after another Flanagan free throw, Lincoln's 3-pointer from the top of the key hit off the rim at the buzzer.
Lincoln coach Dennis Hutson said of the heartbreaking loss, "This was a great basketball game. Our kids battled back, and even on the last shot, I thought we were going to win. We had some kids step up for us tonight, and that was big. We are going to be all right."
Harman contributed 19 while Flanagan finished with 17 points for the Mountaineers.
Lincoln was led by Hardesty's 24 points, while Brian Edwards and Clark Riley came up big with 20 and 15 points, respectively. Mike Barnes finished with 10 points.
Barnes 4 2-2 10; Riley 6 0-2 15; Edwards 9 2-2 20; Hardesty 8 5-5 24; Pravda 1 0-0 2; Pritt 2 0-0 4; Totals 30 9-11 75.
Bellotte 1 1-2 4; Nutt 1 0-0 2;
Flanagan 4 6-8 17; Harman 7 4-7 19; Ross 12 0-2 27; Curotz 3 2-2 8; Totals 28 13-21 77.
Riley 3, Bellotte, Flanagan 3, Ross 3.
Updated January 25, 1997
St. Marys Hands
DC 54-42 Setback
By RANDALL JETT
WEST UNION _ Missed shots along with a strong defensive effort by St. Marys plagued Doddridge County and propelled the Blue Devils to a 54-42 victory Thursday night in boys prep basketball action.
The win was big for St. Marys as the Blue Devils had lost three out of their last four.
"We've been struggling big time," said SMHS coach John Armstrong. "We made some changes in our starting lineup tonight. We went back to a control-tempo offense. And I thought the kids executed it real well tonight."
In the first half, the Blue Devils bombed away from the outside against the Bulldogs, making six of their seven 3-pointers in the half to jump out to a 26-11 lead.
The Bulldogs finally got their offense untracked in the fourth but it was too late as the Blue Devils scored 18 of their 20 points in the period from the free throw line to ice the game.
Bryce Armstrong and Ben Mattingly led St. Marys (8-3) with 17 and 15 points, respectively. Sean Smith and Paige Perkins chipped in 10 each.
Jeff Chumley led DCHS (8-4) with 14 points in the losing effort.
St. Marys (54)
Armstrong 4 7-10 17; Mattingly 4 4-4 15; Smith 3 2-4 10; Perkins 2 6-8 10; Janes 0 2-2 2; Totals 13 21-28 54.
Doddridge Co. (42)
Chumley 6 0-0 14; Hutson 2 1-2 7; Lipscomb 2 1-2 5; Ross 1 2-2 4; Trent 1 0-0 3; Griffin 1 1-2 3; Richards 1 0-0 2; James 1 0-0 2; McGill 1 0-0 2; Totals 16 5-8 42.
Armstrong 2, Mattingly 3, Smith 2, Chumley 2, Hutson 2, Trent.
Updated January 25, 1997
By MICHAEL NUTTER
KINGWOOD _ Ryan Metheny and Shawn Myers led a fourth-quarter surge to lift Preston over Bridgeport 57-45 in Big 10 Conference boys basketball action Thursday night.
Metheny finished with 20 points and was dominating on the inside while Myers contributed 10 points and helped keep the Indian post game at bay.
"Myers and Metheny really stepped it up for us," said Preston coach Barry Sanders. "And I also thought our guards played well. Really, I saw a lot of good things from our kids."
Bridgeport coach Gene Randolph also was impressed with Preston's ability to take control of the game down the stretch.
"They denied us the shots at the end," said Randolph. "And I think that was a combination of our inability and their sensing the kill. I commend Preston for that."
The veteran mentor also felt Metheny and Myers were instrumental in the Knights' victory.
"(The turning point came) when (Metheny) started flexing up and taking control on the inside," said Randolph. "And he got some help from Myers."
The Knights led 39-36 after three periods but slowly pulled away in the final period, closing the game with a 16-7 run. Metheny and Myers combined for 10 points in the final period.
Pat Zinn added 13 points for the hosts.
Chris Kerr led Bridgeport with 11 points while Michael Stumpo added 10.
"I commend our athletes for fighting back," said Randolph. "We were down early, but had the resiliency to battle back.
"We were still in the game in the third quarter, but we didn't get the kind of execution we wanted down the stretch and I think fatigue started to be a factor."
Kerr 4 3-3 11; Ziglear 2 0-0 4; Shahady 0 0-0 0; Stumpo 3 2-2 10; Zickefoose 3 1-1 8; Belcastro 1 0-0 2; Northey 4 0-0 10; Totals 17 7-7 45.
Metheny 7 5-5 20; Polce 2 1-1 5; Argabrite 2 2-4 6; Zinn 3 4-4 13; Reese 1 0-0 3; Myers 4 2-4 10; Totals 19 14-18 57.
Stumpo 2, Northey 2, Zickefoose, Zinn 3, Metheny, Reese.
Updated January 25, 1997
From Start to Finish, Grafton
Too Much for R.C. Byrd, 82-72
By CHARLES CASEY
GRAFTON _ Grafton dominated Robert C. Byrd from start to finish as the Bearcats claimed an 82-72 triumph over the Eagles in a Big 10 Conference clash Thursday night.
The Bearcats (5-3 overall and 3-2 in Big 10 action) never trailed in the contest due to solid play on both ends of the floor.
"We wanted to confuse them and take them out of their rhythm on offense," said Grafton coach Mike Crutchfield. "We were very aware of where Donnie Johnson was on the floor because he can light it up when he gets going."
The Bearcats dictated play using a variety of defenses from a box-and-one to a triangle-and-two to throw the Eagles off of their game. It worked to the tune of poor shooting and numerous turnovers.
Grafton scored the first four points of the game and led 20-14 after one quarter. The 'Cats were able to hold a five-point, 32-27, advantage at the half. Lance Marshall led the way with nine points.
In the second half, it was the Jay Garrett and Eli Henderson show. Garrett poured in 16 of his game-high 20 points and Henderson added 13 of his 19 in the final 16 minutes of play.
RCB (6-4 and 4-2) showed no ability in cutting these two players off from taking the ball to the hoop for easy shots.
"Instead of our defense being disruptive to them, they sort of dictated the play with their offense," stated RCB coach Brad Underwood. "We had trouble guarding the ball all night and I don't know the last time we gave up 82 points.
"It had an effect on our help side defense and we were also slow to the ball. It was just a tough night for us on the defensive side of the ball."
Garrett had eight points and Bryan Gillespie, who played his first game of the season for the Bearcats, chipped in seven to extend the GHS lead to 10 points, 55-45, after three periods.
The Eagles pulled to within seven points, 62-55, with 5:48 to play on a Louie Nardelli 3-pointer. However, Henderson and Marshall each added six points in the final minutes of the game to preserve the Bearcat win.
Garrett and Henderson led four Grafton double-digit scorers as Marshall and Gillespie each tossed in 15 points.
Jon Calvert paced the Eagles with 19 points. Donnie Johnson, Nardelli and Marshall Cox added 12 markers each.
The Eagles will be in action again tonight when they host South Harrison.
Robert C. Byrd (72)
Johnson 3 4-4 12; Hoffman 2 2-2 6; Nardelli 4 1-1 12; Calvert 6 7-10 19; K. Cox 0 0-2 0; Lawrence 2 0-0 5; M. Cox 5 2-2 12; Lee 3 0-1 6; Totals 25 16-22 72.
Gillespie 6 1-2 15; Westfall 1 0-0 3; Bobela 1 3-3 5; Garrett 9 2-3 20; Jones 2 0-5 5; E. Henderson 7 4-4 19; Marshall 3 9-11 15; Totals 29 19-28 82.
Robert C. Byrd
_ Johnson 2, Nardelli 3, Lawrence, Gillespie 2, Westfall, Jones, E. Henderson.
Updated January 25, 1997
Hundred Whips Irish, 69-48
HUNDRED 69, Notre Dame 48:
Hundred's Jeff Snider scored a game-high 33 points to lead the Hornets to a 69-48 upset over Notre Dame Wednesday night at the HHS gym.
The Irish, who fell to 7-3 on the year, had offensive problems throughout the game and obviously missed senior forward LaDon Garrett who missed the game with an illness. Garrett averages 12.8 points and is a force on the inside.
Despite Garrett's absence, the Irish trailed by just two after the first period, 21-19.
The next two quarters, which had the Hornets outscoring the visitors 17-9 and 18-8, were the determining factors in the lopsided win for the hosts.
Josh Riffle led the Irish with 12 points, including two 3-pointers, while John Paul Rieser added 11 points.
Notre Dame (48)
Rieser 3 5-5 11; Riffle 4 2-4 12; Parker 3 0-1 6; Caputo 2 0-2 6; Howard 1 1-2 3; McIntosh 4 2-2 10; Totals 17 10-16 48.
Curry 1 0-2 2; K.Pethtel 2 0-0 5; Snider 15 3-4 33; Himmerlick 2 4-4 8; J.Hayhurst 1 1-2 3; Ray 4 3-4 13; Prendergast 1 1-4 3; Wood 0 2-2 2; Totals 26 14-22 69.
Riffle 2, Caputo 2, K.Pethtel, Ray 2.
Updated January 24, 1997
Lincoln-Liberty Matchup Highlights Prep Schedule
By JOHN G. MILLER
Lincoln will try to continue its recent success while Liberty will try to put together four solid quarters when the rivals meet tonight in boys basketball action at the Mountaineers' gym. Game time is 7:30 p.m.
Both teams have been playing well, but have had different results. The Cougars (4-5 overall, 2-2 Harrison County and 2-4 Big 10) have won two straight while the Mountaineers (4-3, 2-1, 4-0) are coming off a disappointing loss to Class AA No. 3 Tucker County.
"We're playing well and I think the kids are looking forward to the challenge of playing Liberty," said Lincoln coach Dennis Hutson. "It's a big game for us, ... always has been. We shouldn't have any problems getting up for it."
The Cougars have had few problems of late as they beat previously undefeated North Marion on Saturday and South Harrison on Tuesday.
A healthy Jason Pritt has solidified the inside, sophomore forward Danny Hardesty is having a spectacular season and Mike Barnes has been consistent offensively and defensively. Throw in the efforts of Clark Riley, Brian Edwards and several other Cougars and it's easy to understand why Liberty coach Russ Nutt is concerned about this game.
"Lincoln always plays us tough," said Nutt, whose team escaped with a 62-59 win over the Cougars earlier this season. "They are playing with more confidence. (The games) don't get any easier for us, they just keep getting tougher. Basically, we better come to play or we'll get beat."
Coming to play hasn't been a problem for the Mountaineers. But, playing consistently for 32 minutes has. That was the case Tuesday night as Liberty held an eight-point lead on Tucker with just over four minutes to play but ended up losing by six.
"The positive side of everything was that we felt we played better (Tuesday night) than what we had been playing," said Nutt. "But, when we got to that tough stretch (in the game), that championship stretch, we starting playing hoping to win and (Tucker) played to win.
"We made some mistakes, even before that stretch ... unforced errors and things that show we weren't confident enough to get the job done.
"There's probably 101 little things we can do better, little things we need to overcome. But, we believe we have a real good chance of being a very good basketball team."
Little things have also been the undoing of the Cougars, whose 4-5 record could be 7-2 if they could overcome their foul shooting woes.
"We lost to Liberty 62-59 and were 9 of 20 from the foul line," said Hutson. "We lost to Philip Barbour by six and were 9 of 24. Against Bridgeport we lose by two in the final seven seconds and were 6 of 14 from the line.
"We believe we could have easily been 7-2 at this point, but we let a couple get away from us because of foul shooting."
Hutson hopes his players can put those problems behind them tonight. But, he also is keenly aware that the Mountaineers will present several other difficulties for his team to handle.
"We're concerned with their perimeter shooting, especially from (Bryan) Harman and (Guy) Curotz," said Hutson. "They both have nice touches.
"And (Brian) Ross is an inside-outside threat. He can be a defensive problem for us because of his ability to take it to the hole and he's also a good rebounder."
Hutson also cited the improved play of Liberty guards Luke Flanagan and Anthony Bellotte as concerns.
"We hope we can be patient on offense and make them play defense in the half-court set for 35-45 seconds," said Hutson of the Cougar game plan. "I think we can get some good shots on the interior. But, we also need to run when we have the
chance ... take what the defense gives us and make smart decisions."
Other Big 10 games tonight include Robert C. Byrd at Grafton, Bridgeport at Preston and South Harrison at Philip Barbour.
Games in the area: Roane County at Braxton County, Buckhannon-Upshur at Nicholas County, Franklin at Circleville, St. Marys at Doddridge County, North Marion at East Fairmont, Morgantown at Fairmont Senior, Elkins at Lewis County, Tygarts Valley at Harman, Petersburg at East Hardy, Williamstown at Ritchie County and Richwood at Webster County.
Girls games in the area: Notre Dame at Hundred, Tyler Consolidated at River (Ohio) and Valley Wetzel at Cameron.
Games begin at 7:30 p.m.
Updated January 24, 1997
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