SHADY SPRING —
Shady Spring ended Tuesday’s game with nine 3-pointers. But it was the ones that didn’t fall and the action in the paint that spelled the Tigers’ doom.
Shady (7-9) missed some good looks from behind the arc early on and couldn’t find much inside as Class AA No. 4 Wyoming East flexed its muscle in a 69-49 victory at SSHS.
The Warriors (12-3) saw four players reach double figures and outscored the home team 37-27 in the second half to take away any drama in their third straight win, which followed a rare two-game losing streak.
“We controlled the game from start to finish,” said Wyoming East head coach Rory Chapman. “We jumped out on them by six or eight, extended it to 10 at the half and eventually won by 20. It was just a process of taking control.”
Chapman’s club got the job done on both ends of the floor, forcing turnovers that led to easy baskets and using its inside game in the half-court set. Senior post Jordan Hayes finished with 12 points, eight in the first half, and Christian Hedinger got to the rim for physical points in the paint, finishing with 10.
The guard duo of Austin Canada and Taron Ayers hurt the Tigers in different ways.
Canada’s best looks came from the perimeter, where he knocked down three 3-pointers to finish with 19 points, while Ayers slashed through the defense for layups, as well as knocking down a couple of jumpers. The 2013 Register-Herald Player of the Year finished with 16 points, 11 in the fourth quarter.
“He plays at a different speed than what we’re used to,” said Chapman of Ayers, who was playing in just his fifth game this season after being ruled eligible and joining the lineup at the beginning of this month. “He’s still picking up some of the things we do, so he’s just going to continue to get better for us.”
Ayers’ fourth-quarter charge came at a perfect time, with Shady Spring trying to make a game of it.
Down by as many as 18 — 55-37 early in the fourth — the Tigers went on a 9-2 run, sparked by Wyoming East turnovers, to pull within 11 at 57-46. They had the ball with a couple of chances to cut the deficit to single digits, but with Ayers leading the way the Warriors scored 10 of the game’s final 11 points to take their biggest lead of the game at the final buzzer.
“I thought our kids played hard,” said Shady Spring head coach Steve Clark. “We lost by 20, but it didn’t feel like it was a 20-point game. We had plenty of opportunities to get in the game, but we just missed some shots.”
Shady’s effort was led by Jordan Meadows, who scored 14 on the strength of three 3-point strikes. Landon Perry also knocked down a trio of trifectas to end the game with 11, the same number scored by Steven Chhabra.
“We feel like we’ve got a pretty good team, and we’re going to get better down the stretch,” said Clark. “We can have a pretty good inside game, but we haven’t seen our inside and outside game working together at this point.”
The Tigers will be at Ripley on Saturday, the first of two games against the Vikings, who will return the trip to Shady on Feb. 18.
Wyoming East is scheduled to host Mountain Mission (Va.) High School, with a chance to avenge one of its three losses, on Thursday.
Chapman said he’s been pleased with his team to this point, but there’s still room for improvement.
“It’s the little things,” said Chapman. “We need somebody to give their body up and take a charge. We didn’t rebound very good in some games. Every game it’s something small, but it’s the difference in playing for a state championship and staying home in March.”
— E-mail: email@example.com and follow on Twitter @CamHuffmanRH.
Wyoming East (12-3)
Jordan Hayes 6 0-0 12, Austin Canada 6 4-4 19, John Morgan 1 2-2 4, Taron Ayers 6 3-6 16, Christian Hedinger 5 0-0 10, David Carte 3 0-0 6, Michael Hayworth 1 0-0 2. Totals: 28 9-12 69.
Shady Spring (7-9)
Steven Chhabra 3 3-411, Josh Snyder 3 0-1 6, Jordan Meadows 4 1-4 12, Landon Perry 4 0-0 11, Nathan Williams 1 1-1 3, Drew Green 2 0-0 5, Matthew Plumley 0 1-2 1. Totals: 17 6-12 49.
WE 20 12 16 21 — 69
SS 14 8 11 16 — 49
3-point goals — WE: 4 (Canada 3, Ayers); SS: 9 (Chhabra 2, Meadows 3, Perry 3, Green). Fouled out — none.쇓