It was a great night to head for the Beckley-Raleigh County Convention Center. No ice to be seen, on the roads or in the parking lots.
Problem was, there was plenty of ice inside, in the shooting by both Woodrow Wilson and Oak Hill.
The host Flying Eagles completely dominated the boards, but missed layup after layup in a 63-36 win over the Red Devils.
“The kids have to realize what they can take advantage of,” Woodrow coach Ron Kidd said. “We really didn’t have to shoot outside. All we had to do was pound it inside.”
The Flying Eagles enjoyed a 41-16 edge in rebounding, led by 13 from sophomore from Nequan Carrington and seven from senior post Chase Hancock.
Yet Woodrow made just five stickbacks, missing numerous chances.
That kept Oak Hill within striking range much of the contest, despite the 2-3 Red Devils not shooting any better themselves.
“We played hard, but we had a problem on the glass,” coach Wes Brown said. “And we didn’t value the basketball.”
Neither team could buy a basket early, although a late 9-0 Woodrow run gave Beckley a 15-7 first-quarter lead.
The Flying Eagles played the last 2:35 of the period, and all of the second stanza, without all-state point guard Donte Nabors, who got into early foul trouble.
Although Beckley was stinking it up shooting-wise, its defense caught fire. Four steals in a row led to baskets, and Woodrow ended the half with a 36-23 lead
The rims got even colder in the third quarter, as the teams combined for just 15 points, 9-6 in the Flying Eagles’ favor.
Nabors, held to just one foul shot through the first three quarters, suddenly ignited, hitting two foul shots, a jumper and a long 3, to make it 54-31 with 5:24 left to play.
But just over two minutes later, he went down with an apparent ankle injury and had to be taken by stretcher off the floor.
He finished with eight points, three rebounds and a steal.
“He’s our main scorer and he has to play-make, too,” Kidd said.
Another all-stater, Oak Hill forward Joey Re, also had an off-night, scoring eight points and grabbing just three boards to go with two steals.
Jalen Jones and Mark Logan led the Red Devils with nine points each.
“We held Woodrow to nine points in the third quarter, and you would have thought we’d had a chance,” Brown said. “But it wasn’t to be.
“All in all, I was pleased with the effort. We’re a young, growing team. Any progress we make from one game to the next is something good for us.”
Reserve center Noah Hancock paced Woodrow with 15 points, along with four rebounds. Carrington scored 12 points and had five steals along with his game-high 13 rebounds. Chase Hancock also had 12 points.
“Anytime you win you should be happy. But that game should have been total domination,” Kidd said. “They didn’t have anybody who could match up with us inside.
“Only our second game, it’s a work in progress.”
Woodrow (1-1), which had not played since a season-opening 77-68 loss at Huntington on Dec. 20, will now take another eight-day break before traveling to Greenbrier East next Saturday.
Oak Hill will play Friday night at Fayetteville.
Oak Hill (2-3)
Jalen Jones 1 7-8 9, Deonte Scruggs 0 0-0 0, Josh Jones 1 0-0 2, Marc Logan 4 0-0 9, Joey Re 3 1-4 8, Ian Hunt 1 2-2 4, Quenton Traynham 0 0-0 0, Joe Curry 0 0-0 0, Antonio Gray 1 0-0 2. Totals: 12 10-15 36.
Jaylon Breckenridge 3 0-0 7, Nequan Carrington 6 0-0 12, Donte Nabors 2 3-4 8, Chase Hancock 4 4-6 12, Dai-Dai Fortune 2 0-0 4, Corey Acord 0 3-4 3, Noah Hancock 5 5-5 15, Nick Deems 0 0-0 0, 1 0-0 2, DeAndre Risner 1 0-0 2, Devon Bentley 0 0-0 0, Tarek Payne 0 0-0 0. Totals: 23 15-19 63.
OH 7 16 2 11 — 36
WW 15 21 9 18 — 63
3-point goals — OH: 2 (Logan, Re); WW: Players. Fouled out — None.