The Register-Herald, Beckley, West Virginia

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February 21, 2014

Carrington leads Flying Eagles to 15th victory

BECKLEY — Woodrow Wilson’s bread and butter, it’s transition game, wasn’t working.

Neither was its normally hot 3-point shooting.

No problem. The Flying Eagles had Nequan Carrington.

The 6-foot-3 sophomore played the game of his young career Thursday, scoring 28 points, grabbing 12 rebounds and getting seven steals as he powered Class AAA No. 4 Woodrow to a 65-51 victory over scrappy Riverside.

“If the guys aren’t hitting outside, that is my time to shine — to box out, get my rebounds and put the shots back up,” he said.

And how.

Carrington battled like a man possessed for the 15-3 Flying Eagles, who were playing a rare game at Woodrow Wilson High School, instead of on the spacious Dave Barksdale Court of the Beckley-Raleigh County Convention Center.

Stickbacks, left-handed drives and power moves. He had it all going for him on a night when neither 3-pointers or even simple jumpers from the lane were falling for his smooth-shooting teammates.

All-state guard Donte Nabors scored just three points in the first three quarters. Brent Osborne couldn’t buy a three. And guard Jaylon Breckenridge, who had played so well in games Monday and Wednesday night, was equally off with his short jumpers.

Carrington would not be stopped, however.

“Nequan is becoming a force in the state,” coach Ron Kidd said. “He’s playing with confidence and he’s playing hard — which is the way he plays in practice. If he makes a mistake, he doesn’t worry about it. He moves on to the next play.”

Carrington scored at least seven points in each quarter, and had four buckets as Woodrow led 18-13 early.

“This team has enough trust in each other to go to the guy who is hot, and ride him all the way out,” Carrington said. “I feel that’s what we did tonight.”

Riverside (10-8) certainly came to play. Three Warriors scored in double figures, including senior Tyus Wood (19 points), Tamar Lawson (14) and Josh Carpenter (11).

There were five ties, but a stickback by Carrington with 2:34 left before halftime put the Flying Eagles up 24-22. It was still a two-point game at halftime, 29-27, but Woodrow steadily pulled away in the third quarter.

Osborne scored twice from inside to open the period, Breckenridge stole the ball and raced in for a lay-up and Carrington hit from the baseline to make it 37-27 at the 4:36 mark.

When Nabors, who played a solid floor game, finally found his shot in the fourth quarter, it was lights out for the Warriors.

“Donte did what it took for us to win the game,” Kidd said. “He was going to the glass and controlling the team.

“Give Riverside credit. They can play.”

Nabors finished with 11 points and five steals, while Breckenridge scored nine and Chase Hancock had seven rebounds and three steals.

Carrington said the high school floor was like a home away from home.

“I feel comfortable playing here. It’s a smaller court, and we’re so used to running and practicing so hard at the Armory (Convention Center), that this is like a breeze.”

Kidd liked the enthusiasm of the crowd.

“It was loud. A lot of times the players couldn’t hear what we were calling,” he said. “Our kids enjoyed it. Give our crowd credit for showing tonight.”

Woodrow returns to action against No. 2 South Charleston Saturday in the 8 p.m. MSAC championship game at the South Charleston Community Center.

The Flying Eagles will host Class AA power Westside on Monday at the Convention Center.

n n n

Huntington 67

Woodrow Wilson 38

Huntington went on a 20-0 run early in the first quarter and was never threatened in an MSAC Night of Champions game, also at Woodrow Wilson High School.

Jorolyn Johnson scored 10 of her 16 points for the balanced Highlanders (18-4). Lexi Sheffield and Erica Budd each scored 14 points, while Lacey Johnson and Dazha Congleton both scored 11.

Johnson had 11 rebounds and Johnson and Congleton pulled in eight apiece as Huntington completely dominated the boards.

Woodrow (6-11) had a couple of bright spots. Freshman Aaliyah Williams drilled four 3s and scored a game-high 19 points. Center Brooke Pudder added nine points.

— E-mail: dstillwell

@register-herald.com

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