What size disadvantage?
Spring Valley was certainly taller than Woodrow Wilson, but the Flying Eagles controlled the boards and the game Thursday night in a 59-47 victory at the Beckley-Raleigh County Convention Center.
Woodrow’s tallest starter, forward Noah Hancock, was five inches smaller than the Timberwolves’ 6-foot-9 center Tucker Meade. Yet Hancock outrebounded him 7-4 and outscored him 25-4.
Hancock’s brother, Chase, standing just 6-2, grabbed 11 rebounds. Spring Valley’s other big man, 6-4 Jacob Kilgore, had just three points and three boards.
“Our bigs showed up tonight,” Woodrow coach Ron Kidd said. “The Hancocks are warriors. They suited up. Noah came motivated tonight. Chase comes every night to play.”
While Spring Valley (1-3) failed to take advantage of its size advantage, fearless guard play by Joshua Steele (14 points, six rebounds) and James Keyser (15 points, four rebounds) kept the Timberwolves in the game.
Forward Greg Herbert added 11 points.
“Their guards were going inside, posting us,” Kidd said. “Our guards are stronger than that. They should be able to guard them better.”
The game was close until the end, with seven lead changes in the first quarter. The last, on a layup by Steele, gave Spring Valley a 20-19 lead at the end of the first quarter.
Brent Osborne (10 points, five rebounds) opened the second period just as he’d started the first, with a 3-pointer. Woodrow (2-2) moved to a 30-21 lead and never trailed again.
It was 34-30 at halftime, and a low scoring third quarter saw the Flying Eagles go up 42-37.
While Woodrow played well inside, the outside game wasn’t there. All-stater Donte Nabors is still out with an ankle injury, and the Flying Eagles missed him.
Spring Valley made a final run midway through the final period. A jumper and two foul shots by Keyser closed the gap to one point, 48-47, with four and a half minutes to go.
Those would be the Timberwolves’ final points, however. Noah Hancock stopped the bleeding with a foul shot and then a stickback.
Woodrow then hit six of eight foul shots, three by Noah Hancock, two by Jalen Breckenridge and one by Osborne, to push the lead to 10. The Timberwolves missed three good looks at the basket down the stretch, and an uncontested Noah Hancock layup at the buzzer closed out an 11-0 run.
“Anytime you get a win, you feel good,” Kidd said. “But you have to build on it. We have to get better on defense. They came right at us a few times and we moved away or didn’t guard them the way we can guard them.”
Woodrow remains home to host Hurricane at 1 p.m. Saturday.
“They’re pretty good. We’ll have our hands full,” Kidd said.
The Flying Eagles are also home Monday for a 7:30 p.m. game with Shady Spring.
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Spring Valley (1-3)
Joshua Steele 6 2-4 14, James Keyser 4 2-6 15, Greg Herbert 5 1-1 11, Jacob Kilgore 1 1-2 3, Tucker Meade 1 2-2 4, Zach Ramey 0 0-0 0, Dionte Coleman 0 0-0 0. Totals: 17 11-15 47.
Woodrow Wilson (2-2)
Corey Acord 0 0-00, Nequan Carrington 3 0-1 6, Chase Hancock 1 2-4 5, Noah Hancock 10 5-8 25, Brent Osborne 3 2-4 10, Nick Deems 0 0-0 0, Jaylon Breckenridge 2 3-3 7, Dai-Dai Fortune 3 0-0 6. Totals: 22 12-20 59.
SV 20 10 7 10 — 47
WW 19 15 8 17 — 59
3-point goals — SV: 2 (Keyser 2); WW: 3 (Osborne 2, C. Hancock). Fouled out — None.