By Dan Stillwell
Register-Herald Sports Writer
Wyoming East wanted to control the tempo of its basketball game against Woodrow Wilson.
The Flying Eagles, however, were having none of it.
Class AAA No. 3 Woodrow jumped out to a quick lead and forced AA No. 7 Wyoming East to play catch-up en route to a 79-59 win Monday night at the Beckley-Raleigh County Convention Center.
Donté Nabors hit two 3-point goals in the first 2:12 of the game, and Andrew Johnson nailed another from beyond the arc to put the Eagles up 11-5 early.
“We wanted to jump on them early, and we were taking what they gave us,” coach Ron Kidd said. “Donté was knocking them down and Drew hit one too.”
A stickback by Nequan Carrington made it 13-5. Josh Tunstalle hit his second 3 of the game for the Warriors, who were now trying to run with Woodrow.
They hurried passes, however, and the Flying Eagles made them pay time and again. Woodrow led 25-14 by the first quarter’s end and 42-30 at halftime.
“They pulled us out of what we wanted to do,” Warriors coach Rory Chapman said. “Their defensive pressure was great. They’re the fastest team in the state, and right now they’re the hottest team.”
Woodrow (16-4) kept doing everything right — steals, great passes, improbable off-balance lay-ups and battling tall Warriors center Brett Bowling for rebounds — as they rolled to their 12th consecutive victory.
“We fought them until the end, but it was just too much speed, quickness and talent out of Woodrow,” Chapman said.
Nabors led the Flying Eagles with 26 points and four steals. Chase Hancock added 20 points, and Carrington had 12.
Bowling and Tunstalle paced the 12-6 Warriors with 17 points apiece. Bowling also had nine rebounds.
“Our kids knew at halftime that Wyoming East wouldn’t give up. They know them from summer league and know it would be a battle,” Kidd said. “I love their team.
They play hard and do not give up.”
It was the fourth loss in their last six games for the Warriors — all against quality competition.
“I looked at my schedule and wondered if I shouldn’t have watered it down a little bit because I have a young team,” Chapman said. “But then I thought it will only make us stronger and we’ll tough through it.”
Wyoming East’s recent losses were to AA co-No. 4 Robert C. Byrd, No. 6 Westside (twice) and Woodrow.
“Kids haven’t quit. We’ve lost some tough games, but we’ve not lost to a team that’s not good,” Chapman said. “We see quality opposition every night. There are no gimmes on our schedule.”
The Warriors host Independence Wednesday.
Woodrow’s last defeat was 48-44 Jan. 10 at Winfield. It was the third of a three-game losing streak, and its fourth loss in its previous five games.
“There’s been a difference in our last 12 games,” Kidd said. “We’ve got guys stepping up, guys coming off the bench. We’re getting a quality team effort from everybody.
“They want it more now. They know they have to live up to Beckley pride.
“It’s hard on the court, and hard off the court when you play for Woodrow Wilson. I think our kids forgot that during that stretch, but now they’re playing with pride and refusing to lose.”
The Flying Eagles will play AAA No. 2 South Charleston Saturday in the MSAC Night of Champions at the South Charleston Community.
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Andrew Hylton from Beckley won the 2007 PT Cruiser, provided by Beckley Auto Mall, in a promotion benefiting the Woodrow athletic department.
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Wyoming East (12-6)
Austin Canada 4 1-2 11, Cody Lester 2 0-0 4, Josh Tunstalle 6 2-5 17, Christian Hedinger 1 0-0 2, Brett Bowling 6 5-7 17, Jacob Dulcie 0 0-0 0, Kyle Sandy 0 0-0 0, John Morgan 1 0-0 2, Joseph Cornett 2 1-1 5, Jordan Hayes 0 0-0 0, Alex Walker 0 1-2 1, Alec Lusk 0 0-0 0. Totals: 22 10-17 59.
Woodrow Wilson (16-4)
Andrew Johnson 2 0-0 5, Donté Nabors 10 3-4 26, Chase Hancock 8 4-5 20, Nequan Carrington 6 0-0 12, Brent Osborne 1 0-0 2, Nick Deems 2 0-0 4, Dai Dai Fortune 1 0-0 2, Noah Hancock 3 0-0 6, Corey Acord 0 2-2 2, Devan Bentley 0 0-0 0. Totals: 33 9-11 79.
WE 14 16 17 12 — 59
WW 25 17 25 12 — 79
3-point goals — WE: 5 (Canada 2, Tunstalle 3); WW: 4 (Nabors 3, Johnson 1).쇓