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College-Preston rematch is a repeat of groups’ 1st assembly

MORGANTOWN — Approach again earlier than Christmas, the College boys basketball crew traveled to Preston to face the Knights, and after a hard-fought, carefully contested first half, the Hawks turned up their defensive depth in an amazing third quarter to roar previous the Knights to prevail, 73-49.

Tuesday evening at College, the groups had a rematch and it appeared like déjà vu once more, because the Knights hung shut on the half and a lot of the third quarter earlier than the Hawks’ defensive strain and transition sport lastly took down their inter-county rivals, 59-37.

Neither crew shot the ball nicely within the first quarter and solely a late defensive surge by College (11-10) that pressured three fast turnovers and 5 fast factors allowed the Hawks to steer after one quarter, 14-8. Whereas UHS then turned ice chilly from the sphere — they didn’t rating within the first 5 minutes of the quarter — Preston guard Brier Rugg caught hearth from past the arc, canning three triples to tug his Knights to inside a bucket on the break, 23-21.

Rugg nailed one other three at the start of the second half and PHS (7-15) knotted the rating at 25 apiece on the six-minute mark, solely to see the Hawks’ press as soon as extra create havoc and pressure turnovers that led to simple transition baskets. The consequence? A 9-0 UHS run in simply 120 seconds of sport time.

Nonetheless, a late triple from ultra-quick PHS sophomore level guard Slaton Manko sliced the UHS lead beneath ten at 41-33 heading into the ultimate stanza.

However the Knights bought drained and sloppy in response to the high-pressure UHS full-court protection, and the Hawks merely ran away, outscoring PHS 18-4 to place the sport to mattress. Whereas Rugg led all scorers with 15, UHS ahead KK Lewis was a dominating presence within the paint, scoring 14, together with a beautiful alley-oop lay-in, cleansing the glass on each ends of the courtroom and registering a number of steals and intimidating blocks.

“He was the distinction for us, little doubt,” UHS coach Joe Schmidle mentioned. “We’ve been attempting to get him to remain down low all yr, and tonight he was a pressure. And we would have liked him to be a catalyst, as a result of we shot the ball very poorly (9-29 within the first half), and even our seniors didn’t play exhausting. We performed like we practiced, and we aren’t adequate to only present up and win video games with out vitality and exhausting work. We should be higher, and we’re able to being higher.”

Preston coach Leroy “Bucky” Forbes felt prefer it was December, particularly within the first half.

“Very related sport, for positive,” he smiled. “However this time, we held it collectively by means of the third quarter earlier than we bought drained they usually actually harm us with their press within the fourth. We’ve got been in nearly each sport we’ve performed this season, and that’s a night-and-day distinction from final yr. We’re nonetheless younger – Manko’s only a sophomore, and he’s already a particular participant proper now — and I like how we’re rising as a crew.”

With Preston set to return to College subsequent Wednesday for the Sectional semifinal, Forbes believes his crew can extract a number of positives from this newest sport, and “with two video games price of movie and a full week to work on breaking their press, we hope to construct on what we did proper and proper our errors.”

“Moreover,” he continued with just a little grin, “Coach Schmidle is aware of simply how exhausting it’s to beat a crew thrice in a single yr.”

Within the JV sport, College defeated Preston 69-30. Mason Kemper and Connor Vira paced the Hawks with 17 every, whereas Wyatt Myers led the Knights with 12.

These identical two groups face off within the Sectional semifinals subsequent Wednesday at 7 p.m. at College, however not earlier than the Hawks end up their common season at residence Thursday, internet hosting Musselman at 7:30 p.m.

BY MARK SCHRAF/For The Dominion Publish

BOX SCORE
College 59, Preston 37
Preston        8   13   12     4  –  37
College  14    9    18   18  –  59
PRESTON (7-15) — Brier Rugg 5 0-0 15; Zach Farrell 2 0-0 4; Kaden Bachtel 2 0-0 5; Aiden Schmidl 2 1-2 5 ; Slaton Manko 2 2-4 7; Easton Hayes 0 1-2 1. Totals 13 4-8 37.
UNIVERSITY (11-9) — Ethan Jackson 2 2-2 6; KK Lewis 6 2-6 14; Luke Hudson 4 1-2 11; James Fortney-Garbart 3 1-2 7; John Coleman 1 0-0 2; Coen Henderson 1 0-0 2; Glenn Brown 1 0-0 2; Eli Karpinski 1 0-0 2; Carson Ford 5 0-0 13.  Totals 24 6-12 59.
Three-pointers – PHS 7 (Rugg 5, Bachtel, Manko). UHS 5 (Hudson 2, Ford 3).
Fouled Out – PHS Hayes