The Register-Herald, Beckley, West Virginia

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January 30, 2013

Connor has another big night as Shady beats Liberty

SHADY SPRING — When you have a go-to guy on your basketball team, you get the ball to him.

Shady Spring went time and again to theirs Tuesday night, all-state guard Chase Connor.

Liberty, however, struggled to find 6-foot-10 center Levi Cook.

Connor scored 37 points, and the Tigers led by as many as 22 before settling for a 75-62 victory at Shady Spring High School.

“Chase played well last night against Woodrow Wilson (36 points in a 96-73 loss), and he stepped up and did it again tonight,” coach Steve Clark said. “That’s what we expect of him.”

Connor scored 13 points in the first half, then took over the game in third and fourth quarters.

Six of his 12 baskets were from beyond the 3-point arc.

“We were giving him space, and when you do that, he’s going to hurt you,” Liberty coach Aaron Pauley said.

Shady led most of the game, although it trailed 5-2 early. Cook, a sophomore already committed to West Virginia University, scored 17 points as Liberty battled to a 28-28 tie at halftime.

The Tigers opened the third quarter with a 10-0 run, keyed by 3s from Jordan Meadows and Corey Snyder, and two baskets off steals by Connor.

Connor added two 3s of his own to propel Shady to a 53-41 lead by the quarter’s end.

“The kids picked up their intensity a little bit,” Clark said. “They had played hard last night against Woodrow, but you saw no sign of fatigue tonight.”

Cook managed just eight points in the second half, five in the third quarter.

The Raiders committed 15 turnovers in the third period.

“Not taking anything away from (Shady’s) defense, but we just have to get Levi the ball,” Pauley said. “He’s open down there some times, but when you’re turning the ball over, 35 and 40 feet away from the basket, there is no getting him the ball.”

Shady upped the lead to 22, at 63-41, midway through the fourth quarter. A late 13-5 run by the Raiders narrowed the gap at the end.

Cook finished with 25 points and 10 rebounds for Liberty (7-5). Guard Michael Prater added 12 points and eight assists.

The Raiders will play Thursday at Nicholas County.

Connor finished with six assists, four rebounds and three steals in addition to his 37 points.

Center Jacob Buckland had 12 points and five rebounds. Snyder scored nine points.

The Tigers, now 8-6, will travel to Webster County Friday night.

— E-mail: dstillwell@

register-herald.com

Liberty (7-5)

Michael Prater 3 4-4 12, Austin Lyons 4 0-0 8, Tré McDowell 1 0-0 3, Trevor McGhee 2 2-4 6, Levi Cook 11 3-6 25, Ryan Delaney 0 0-2 0, Devon Acord 0 0-0 0, Matt Klucarich 1 2-2 4, Jacob Stump 0 2-2 2, Zach Epling 0 0-0 0. Totals: 22 13-20 62.

Shady Spring (8-6)

Chase Connor 12 7-9 37, Jacob Buckland 6 0-1 12, Steven Chhabra 2 0-0 4, Juwan Rowe 2 0-0 4, Corey Snyder 4 0-0 9, Jordan Meadows 2 0-0 6, Drew Green 0 0-0 0, Tyler Bonds 1 0-0 2, Nate Williams 0 0-0 0, Landon Perry 0 0-0 0, Josh Snyder 0 0-0 0, Justin Harper 0 0-0 0, Jonathan Sutphin 0 0-0 0. Totals: 29 8-12 75.

L    12    16    13    21    —    62

SS    15    13    25    22    —    75

3-point goals — L: 3 (Prater 2, McDowell 1); SS: 9 (Connor 6, Snyder 1, Meadows 2). Fouled out — L: McDowell.

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