TaRon Ayers was glad to be home.
The stellar point guard, who transferred back to Summers County High School this fall after a stint at Woodrow Wilson, made his homecoming a big success Saturday night.
He scored the first seven points of the game, and finished with 32 to lead the 2-0 Bobcats to a 72-67 victory over Shady Spring.
“I loved the coaching staff at Woodrow, but Summers County is my home,” Ayers said. “I loved coming back here to play with my family.”
Ayers is a cousin of teammates Isaiah Brown and T.J. Smith, who also played well in the home opener.
“I wanted to get the win and represent my community and family,” Ayers said.
He put on quite a show, whether slashing to the basket or launching 3-pointers. He knocked down two deuces and a trey in the first three minutes, and later added five more points to help Summers out to an 18-11 first quarter lead.
But when Ayers and hustling forward Smith both got into foul trouble early in the second quarter, the Bobcats’ tempo dropped.
“We got into foul trouble and the game got too slow for us,” coach James “Pistol” Payne said. “We quit pressing and got into a halfcourt game. When the game is faster, we’re pretty good.”
Shady Spring (0-2) came roaring back, despite a cold shooting half by all-stater Chase Conner, and trailed by just one, 28-27, at halftime.
“We’ve got off to a slow start two games in a row,” coach Steve Clark said. “We can’t let that keep happening.”
Conner scored just one basket and three foul shots in the half.
“Isaiah Brown did a tremendous job on Chase Conner,” Payne said. “Where Chase went, Isaiah was right there.”
Conner came back with a pair of 3s in the third quarter to keep it close, at 52-47.
Ayers stayed out of foul trouble the rest of the way, however, and scored six points in each quarter.
Shady made it a three-point game at 58-55 and 64-61, but down the stretch the Bobcats hit six foul shots, including 3 of 4 by Ayers.
Smith finished with 15 points, 10 rebounds and three steals.
“T.J. pounded the boards tonight,” Payne said.
Brown scored eight, and center Josh Graham had eight points and along with 12 rebounds.
The Tigers not only shot the ball poorly from the field, but also made just 11 of 23 foul shots. Summers was 18 of 25.
“We couldn’t get over the hump. We didn’t shoot the ball well,” Clark said. “We played hard at times, but we let down at times as well.”
Conner finished with 20 points. Forward Jacob Buckland added 14 and Steve Chhabra had 11.
Shady Spring plays Riverside Tuesday. Summers County travels Thursday to Liberty.
— E-mail: dstillwell@
Summers County 72, Shady Spring 67
Shady Spring (0-2)
Chase Conner 5 6-7 20, Steven Chhabra 5 1-4 11, Jordan Meadows 3 0-1 5, Jacob Buckland 6 2-7 14, Juwan Rowe 4 1-3 9, Andrew Green 0 0-0 0, Tyler Bonds 2 1-1 5. Totals: 25 11-23 67.
Summers County (2-0)
Isaiah Brown 3 2-3 8, TaRon Ayers 12 5-6 32, Josh Graham 4 0-0 8, T.J. Smith 5 4-6 15, Jacob Carr 1 2-2 4, Matt Ryan 0 4-6 4, Ashton Garten 0 0-0 0, Jaquan Akers 0 1-2 1. Totals: 25 18-25 72.
SS 11 16 20 20 — 67
SC 18 10 24 20 — 72
3-point goals — SS: 6 (Connor 4, Meadows 2); SC: 4 (T. Ayers 3, Smith 1).
Former Woodrow Wilson star leads Summers County past Shady Spring
TaRon Ayers was glad to be home.
- High School Sports
Woodrow Wilson headed to states
Hunter Greco will walk into the halls of Woodrow Wilson High School this morning for the final time. He’ll walk past his locker and the classroom of his favorite teacher.
Rain halts AA final in 5th
It took nearly a week for PikeView and Independence to finally claim their sectional championships, largely because of persistent rain.
Mavericks fall in AA title game
The James Monroe High School softball team scratched its way up to the championship game of Class AA softball this week.
Months of waiting ends: Weeks signs with Marshall
Adam Weeks probably could have helped usher in a historic first season for the Mountain East Conference at any member school he wanted. Instead, he waited — and waited — for the offer he really wanted.
- State softball, regional baseball schedules
A dream start, nightmare end
Lightning on the horizon brought Wednesday's final game of the state softball tournament to an end.
The James Monroe Lady Mavericks had felt a shock long before that.
One step away from Charleston
A trip to Charleston — with a lot more on the agenda than a tour of the capitol building and a shopping spree at Charleston Town Center — will be up for grabs tonight for three area teams that are one win away from punching their ticket to the WVSSAC State Baseball Tournament at Appalachian Power Park.
Tanner is Summers County coach
After weeks of controversy, it appears Summers County High School officially has a new football coach.
Woodrow downs defending AAA champs
It’s a play that Woodrow Wilson has practiced everyday this season and has rarely had to utilize.
It’s a good thing the Flying Eagles did practice it; it saved their season and led to a 2-1 victory over defending state champion Princeton.
No repeat for Warriors
Independence has been on a tear offensively the entire month of May. It didn’t stop Tuesday, even against Wyoming East ace Derek Thornton.
The Patriots led 5-0 after two innings, and Brian Sexton — backed by that very offense and some sparkling defense — gutted out a complete game in a 7-5 win in the Class AA Region 3 semifinals Tuesday night.
- More High School Sports Headlines
- Woodrow Wilson headed to states