The Register-Herald, Beckley, West Virginia

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December 29, 2012

Defense carries Woodrow

Flying Eagles deal Huntington 1st loss

BECKLEY — Statewide, Woodrow Wilson is known for its hustling, in-your-face defense.

Friday, against fellow unbeaten Huntington, the Flying Eagles did little to tarnish that image.

Woodrow (4-0) forced Huntington into numerous bad shots early, and its transition game made the Highlanders pay in an 83-63 victory at the Raleigh County Convention Center.

Afterwards, coach Ron Kidd was wearing a big smile in the locker room.

“We pride ourselves on defense. We work on it every day,” he said. “We try to instill in our kids defense wins championships.”

The Flying Eagles played physical basketball, whether battling the taller Highlanders on the boards or taking four charges.

Huntington (4-1) missed shot after shot, including several driving layups, and did not score a field goal until Shaquan Miller hit a 3 at the 2:14 mark of the first quarter.

The fast break was in high gear, and the Flying Eagles led 21-8 by the quarter’s end.

Football standouts Chase Hancock and Andrew Johnson had 8 and 6 points apiece in the opening frame.

Johnson finished with a game-high 29 points. Hancock had 12.

“I think Drew is just as good in basketball as he is in football,” Kidd said. “He’s a good leader and a strong kid. I think football helped him a lot. It got physical out there tonight.

“Chase is physical, too. He’s not bad at all.”

Woodrow continued to dominate the tempo with its high-octane transition game in the second quarter. Huntington tried to run as well, which was fine with Kidd.

“We’re going to run, regardless” he said. “I’m just glad they were trying to run with us. Let’s see who’s in better shape.”

Huntington made a late third-quarter rally, chopping the deficit to 13, at 57-44. But Woodrow cranked it back up in the fourth, outscoring the Highlanders 26-19.

“Huntington is a quality team. They’ve been blowing out people by 20,” Kidd said. “Anytime you go to Parkersburg or Logan and win, you’re doing something.

“We knew they’d make a run, but our kids withstood it. I’m proud of the way they played, and finished the game.”

Guard Donté Nabors scored 17 points while Hancock added 8 rebounds to go with his 12 points.

Forward Nick Deems scored 12 points, including a 3-pointer, and had 6 rebounds.

“Deems did some good things,” Kidd said. “Anytime we can get Nick some good shots, we feel pretty good about it.”

Arick Nicks, a 6-foot-4 forward getting a lot of early-season ink, finished with 23 points and 8 rebounds for Huntington. Chancellor Wooding added 9 points and Miller and Shannon Miller netted 8 apiece.

While Kidd would have liked to have seen Woodrow make fewer turnovers in the early-season Class AAA showdown, he was happy otherwise.

“Huntington didn’t give up, but our kids didn’t give up either,” he said. “This is a scrappy team. They’re like the old Beckley teams — they play scrappy, hard-nosed basketball.

“I think they realize defense is what wins games.”

Woodrow will host Greenbrier East at 7:30 p.m. Wednesday at the convention center.

— E-mail: dstillwell@

Woodrow Wilson 83,

Huntington 63

Huntington (4-0)

Shaquan Miller 3 0-0 8, Nick Tubbs 2 1-2 6, Arick Nicks 6 11-13 23, Chancellor Wooding 4 0-0 9, Nathan DeMoss 2 0-0 6, Kirk Trotter 2 2-2 6, Tyler Martin 0 0-0 0, J.R. Howard 0 0-0 0, Tavian Dunn-Martin 1 0-0 3. Totals: 21 14-17 63.

Woodrow Wilson (3-0)

Andrew Johnson 9 7-10 29, Nick Deems 5 1-2 12, Danté Nabors 7 3-3 17, Chris Hancock 4 3-4 12, Nequan Carrington 1 0-0 2, Noah Hancock 1 0-0 2, Brent Osborne 4 0-0 9. Totals: 31 14-19 83.

H    8    12    24    19    —    63

WW    21    15    19    26    —    83

3-point goals — H: 7 (Miller 2, Tubbs, Wooding, DeMoss 2); WW: 7 (Johnson 4, Deems, C. Hancock, Osborne). Fouled out — Tubbs.

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