Woodrow Wilson’s Larry Terry, left, shoots as George Washington’s Austin Breeden defends during their game Wednesday night at the Beckley-Raleigh County Convention Center.

F. Brian Ferguson
The Register-Herald

After watching his team blow a 15-point fourth quarter lead and go to overtime with defending state champion George Washington, Woodrow Wilson coach Ron Kidd felt a strange sense of calm come over him.

Thanks to Taron Ayers and Andrew Johnson.

Ayers started the overtime with a 3-pointer and, after G.W. answered, Johnson hit back-to-back treys to send Class AAA No. 2 Woodrow Wilson (8-0) to a 76-67 win.

“That’s the guys we want with the ball,” Kidd said. “They really fed off each other tonight. You have to feel pretty good when those guys have the ball, because most of the time, they are going to make the right decision.”

Like Ayers, who found Johnson all alone and got him the ball with a cross-court skip pass that bounced three times before it reached him.

“I thought it was never going to get there,” Johnson said, laughing. “But I have to give him credit. He got it there.”

That was the tough part.

It was Johnson’s second 3 in a 36 second span and gave the Eagles a 68-62 lead.

After Johnson dished to Christian Day for a basket after a Patriot free throw, Woodrow would close it out as Johnson and Ayers combined to hit 6 of 10 free throws.

Ayers had started the quarter with a 3-pointer that seemed to jump-start the Eagles.

“I wanted the ball in my hands,” Ayers said. “I feel confident that I can make that shot. I wanted to do something to get us started. After that, Drew took over.”

George Washington’s Tino DiTrapano tied it with a 3, but then Johnson took over.

Patriots coach Rick Greene blamed his team for not picking up Johnson.

“Because we were jogging back down the court,” Greene said. “I’m not faulting our effort, but when you’re under pressure, you revert to your habits, good or bad. And we don’t practice hard.”

The loss overshadowed a great comeback by George Washington.

Down 15, 49-34, the Patriots went on a long 23-7 run, aided by six Woodrow turnovers, to take a 57-56 lead on a tip in by Thomas Francke with 1:15 left.

But Cam Shannon hit a 3 with 25 seconds remaining to give Woodrow a 59-57 lead.

Luke Eddy had a runner with 10 seconds to tie it.

“I want to give Beckley credit,” Greene said. “A lot of people, when you come back from 15 points down, they’re done. I think that shows their character and their tradition.”

“We aren’t going to quit,” Johnson agreed. “We’re fighters. Coach Kidd said this was a statement game. Everybody said we haven’t played anybody. But we have. It was a big win for us to beat them.”

Woodrow Wilson led by one at the half, 22-21, and the lead would change hands four times and was tied twice before Woodrow went on a 19-4 run, with Johnson starting it with a 3 pointer.

“That was a very big win,” Kidd said. “That’s a well-coached team with heady players.

“We respect them so much and that’s why it feels good to beat them.”

Johnson finished with 24 points (5 of 7 on 3 pointers), six rebounds and five assists.

Four other Eagles reached double digits, including Ayers, with 14 points (seven in overtime), Shannon and Larry Terry with 11 and Christian Day with 10 and seven rebounds.

Francke had 17 points and 10 rebounds for the Patriots. DiTrapano had 17, Darian Williams 12 and Dustin Crouser 10.

Woodrow Wilson is at South Charleston Tuesday.

— E-mail: demorrison@register-herald.com



Tino DiTrapano 6-11 2-2 17, Luke Eddy 3-10 2-2 9, Darian Williams 4-9 2-2 12, Thomas Francke 8-14 1-2 17, Dustin Crouser 3-7 405 10, Austin Breeden 0-0 0-0 0, Ryan Switzer 1-4 0-0 2, Cole Salmons 0-1 0-0 0. Totals 25-56 11-13 67.


Andrew Johnson 6-14 7-10 24, Cameron Shannon 4-11 2-3 11, Matt Potter 3-7 0-0 6, Larry Terry 4-11 1-1 11, Christian Day 4-7 2-2 10, Taron Ayers 3-6 7-12 14, Steve Lewis 0-0 0-0 0, Adam Wells 0-0 0-0 0. Totals 24-56 19-28 76.

GW    14    7    13    25    8    —    67

WW    14    8    23    14    17    —    76

3-Point Goals—George Washington 6-20 (DiTrapano 3-5, Eddy 1-6, Williams 2-6, Francke 0-3); Woodrow Wilson 9-19 (Johnson 5-7, Shannon 1-2, Terry 2-7, Ayers 1-3). Fouled Out—Eddy. Rebounds—George Washington 31 (Francke 10); Woodrow Wilson 32 (Day 7). Assists—George Washington 13 (Eddy 4); Woodrow Wilson 15 (Johnson 5, Ayers 5). Total Fouls—George Washington 19; Woodrow Wilson 14. A—1,677.


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