Inspired effort pushes Woodrow Wilson past Hurricane

(Brad Davis/The Register-Herald) Woodrow Wilson's Camille Fenton drives and scores as Hurricane's Maggie Oduor defends Thursday night in Beckley.

The last 48 hours for the Woodrow Wilson girls basketball team has been both tumultuous and trying. 

After an off-the-court scuffle that involved a fan and Woodrow Wilson assistant head coach, Gene Nabors, forced the suspension of the the game Tuesday at Greenbrier East, the Lady Flying Eagles faced an important Mountain State Athletic Conference clash Thursday with Hurricane.

Playing without five key players as a result of the incident Tuesday, Woodrow Wilson played an inspired game to defeat the Lady Redskins, 58-44.

Earlier in the day in a meeting with the West Virginia Secondary Schools Activities Commission, Woodrow Wilson was informed about the suspension of five players as a result of the incident Tuesday at Greenbrier East.

Liz Cadle, Victoria Staunton, Sierra Conley, Jamara Walton and Olivia Ziolkowski were all suspended for two games by the WVSSAC.

"We found out about 11 (a.m.) today about the suspensions," Woodrow Wilson head coach Brian Nabors said. "First of all, I commended the girls for wanting to check on their coach. I told them they didn't do anything wrong. It was my fault. I shouldn't have left the bench, but I went to check on my brother.  I thought he was hurt. We are family, if something happens to your family you want to see about it."

"It wasn't about the basketball game, that is how we love each other. We mean it when we tell each other that everyday. That is what we stress and that is what this program is all about," Nabors continued. "Through the highs and the lows, we have to stick together. I explained to them how the (WVSSAC) looked at. They were not looking at any exceptions. They went with what was in black and white. We left the bench and it was my fault."

Freshman, Camille Fenton, talked about the team's reaction to the incident Tuesday.

"We were worried for our coach. We just wanted him to be safe and we were really glad nobody got hurt on our team," Fenton said. "We knew after that game we still had to play basketball. It all comes back to basketball and doing what we love. If we do that, we will come together as a team. Adversity helps us get closer and we get better."

The news of the suspensions took the team by surprise, Fenton included.

"We learned about our players being suspended at about 3 o'clock (Thursday), right before shoot-around," Fenton explained. "I think a lot of us were a little bit down about it at first. However, knew we had to lock-in and get focussed because we were here to play basketball and get a win. That was the main thing on our mind."

"Tonight's mindset started at shoot-around," Fenton went on to say. "We got locked-in and had really good enthusiasm to play as a team. We knew if we played as a team, played good defense and ran our sets, we were going to win this game."

Playing without the five key players, Nabors knew he would need an inspired effort from his team and his team delivered.

"All 11 girls did a great job. We didn't get two girls in, but with their energy on the bench and their support and encouragement, it was a great team win tonight. Everybody stepped up and did what they needed to do tonight," Nabors said.

Never trailing in the game, Woodrow got 16 points from freshman, Keanti Thompson and 14 from Fenton to lead the way. However, the ability of Cloey Frantz to control the game from the point guard spot, kept the Lady Flying Eagles running all night.

"Cloey is our rock. As small as she is, she is tough as nails," Nabors said. "She never gives up, even battling through an injury, She gets mad at me when I take her out, but she is going to fight to the end for us. I am glad she is on our side."

While Frantz was battling up top, Fenton was holding her ground against the bigs inside for Hurricane.

"She had a little bit of trouble with (Nadia) Legros because she is a really good player," Nabors said. "Legros has given us a lot of problems over the last few years. I thought once Camille settle down and moved her feet, she got in better position. She made it hard for Hurricane to throw the ball inside. We did a better job putting pressure on the ball making the entry passes and we did a good job helping."

Hurricane closed to within one point in the second quarter, but Woodrow would lead by six at the break and by 11 after three quarters.

"My mindset was to come out tonight and play hard," Thompson said. "We have had a lot of distractions going on right now, but we had to continue to work for (our teammates). Our defense picked us up and we all came together tonight as a team." 

Hurricane could get no closer than nine points in the final eight minutes and Woodrow put the game away with a 7-2 run.

Woodrow Wilson (14-3) is back in action Monday when it travels to Westside Monday before hosting Class AAA No. 7 South Charleston Wednesday on Senior Night. 

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Hurricane (7-13)

Taylor Maddex 3, Nadia Legros 10, Hope Adams 2, Lauren Dye 7, Maggie Oduor 17, Amiyah Donaldson 4, Morgan Kenworthy 1. Totals: 14 9-16 44.

Woodrow Wilson (14-3)

Adriana Law 9, Cloey Frantz 12, Camille Fenton 14, Keanti Thompson 16, Bella Staples 5, Taylor Gunter 2. Totals: 18 14-26 58.

H: 9 11 13 10     — 44

WW: 16 10 19 13     — 58

3-point goals: H: 3 (Maddox, Dye, Oduor), WW: 6 (Law, Frantz, Thompson 4). Fouled out: Maddox (H).

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