By J. Daniel Rollins
Register-Herald Sports Writer
SHADY SPRING —
A lot could be said for Woodrow Wilson basketball during the 2012-13 season, but Shady Spring head coach Steve Clark probably said it best.
“They’ve got speed to burn.”
Woodrow did what Woodrow does best, using high pressure defense and a full-court offense to blow past county rival Shady Spring 96-73 Monday night.
The Flying Eagles used a 27-10 first quarter to propel themselves to the win, their fifth in a row.
“I thought we looked like a million dollars in spots,” Woodrow coach Ron Kidd said.
Kidd’s toughest call on the night was figuring out how to stop hot-shooting Shady Spring guard Chase Connor. Connor went into the game averaging 23 points, but was held to just one point in the first quarter.
The stellar defense of Woodrow’s Chase Hancock.
“We came out and stopped their leading scorer (Connor),” Hancock said. “That’s what we needed. Coach said before the game I had him. It was Chase-on-Chase.”
Kidd said the decision was an easy one to make.
“We feel like Chase Hancock is our best defender,” Kidd said. “I tell ya what, he went up against a guy tonight that was one of the best in the state, and he made him earn his points tonight. He might have had a lot of points, but he had to earn them.”
Connor fired back in the remaining three quarters, scoring 36 points, but his cold shooting in the first quarter helped Woodrow jump out to a big lead that the Tigers were not able to come back from.
“After the first quarter, we played well,” Clark said of Shady Spring. “They’re just really quick. Chase played well but they have the quickness to match up with him.”
“I’ve got to give props to Chase Connor,” Woodrow captain Andrew Johnson said. “Even after breaking his leg earlier, he still does what he does best.”
Woodrow’s hot shot Donte Nabors came into Monday’s game averaging 19 points per game. The junior guard put up a season-high 27 points in the victory.
“I think I played pretty good,” Nabors said. “My teammates helped me out. We helped each other out. We distributed the ball well to everyone.”
“What I like about our team with Donte, they can steal, he can score for them and they’re going to try to give him the ball at the right time to score. He doesn’t try to force it,” Kidd said.
Nabors is helping change the fortune for Woodrow since a tough losing streak in early January seemed to doom the Flying Eagles’ season. However, the Flying Eagles’ new rallying cry comes from the heart.
“We had a talk after one of the loses and Coach Kidd said ‘refuse to lose.’ That’s our thing now,” Nabors said.
Refusing to lose for the Flying Eagles means getting back something that was missing.
“I feel like we went into a slump. We weren’t playing Beckley basketball,” Kidd said of the team’s tough defense and fast full-court offense. “We just weren’t playing the way me and my coaches want us to play, but the last five games have been different for us.”
Kidd is looking forward to seeing how his team handles the pressures of this week’s schedule. The Flying Eagles travel to George Washington on Wednesday, before returning to Beckley for the Big Atlantic Classic on Friday and Saturday.
“George Washington is the same type of team as Shady,” Kidd said. “Luke Eddy is a lot like Chase Connor; they play the same style. It’s going to be tough. I like to practice, (but) they better be ready to play this week. We’ve got a lot of games to get in.”
Wednesday’s tip against George Washington will be at 7:30 p.m. and then the Flying Eagles will matc up against Lewis County at 9 p.m. Friday. Shady Spring will host Liberty tonight at 7:30 p.m.
— E-mail: jrollins@
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Woodrow Wilson (9-4)
Andrew Johnson 3 2-6 10, Nick Deems 3 4-4 10, Donte Nabors 10 5-6 27, Chase Hancock 5 2-4 15, Noah Hancock 1 1-3 3, NeQuan Carrington 5 1-3 10, Brent Osborne 6 0-0 15, Core Acord 1 2-2 4, Devan Bentley 0 0-0 0 Totals: 34 18-28 96.
Shady Spring (7-6)
Chase Connor 11 9-12 36, Drew Green 0 0-0 0, Steve Chhabra 0 0-0 0, Jordan Meadows 3 0-0 8, Tyler Bonds 2 0-1 4, Justin Harper 0 0-0 0, Corey Snyder 0 5-6 5, Nate Williams 1 0-0 2, Landon Perry 0 0-0 0, Jacob Buckland 8 0-0 16, Juwan Rowe 0 0-0 0, Matt Plumley 0 0-0 0, Johnathan Beckett 0 2-2 2 Totals: 25 16-21 73
WW 27 24 24 20 — 96
SS 10 24 21 18 — 73
3-point goals — WW: 7 (Johnson 2, Nabors 2, Osborne 3); SS: 7 (Connor 5, Meadows 2). Fouled out — SS: Snyder, Rowe.