Boys Basketball Action Heats Up The Valley
The Hundred Hornets’ Logan McDiffitt tallied four straight buckets down the stretch to help the Hornets win their sixth game of the season 53-51 against the Clay-Battelle Cee-Bees inside the Hornets Nest on Jan. 26.
Hundred had some difficulties throughout the game, however, and the pregame was no different. After some technical difficulties with the playing of the national anthem, the HHS cheerleaders stepped up with a spine chilling performance.In a time when we need to pay our country its respect, the cheerleaders did just that with a clutch performance that surprised everyone.
After the tip, the Hornets started out with some pressure defense that kept the Cee-Bees from getting inside the lane. Hornet Tyrell Watson hit two big threeballs early on to give Hundred an 8-7 lead. Shane Kuhn came in off the bench to spark the Hornets’ defense with a pair of big steals near the end of the first quarter of play.
A couple of mistakes in the Hornets’ full-court press allowed the Cee-Bees to have the lead after one, 11-10.
To start the second quarter, Hornet standout senior – and the game’s leading scorer – Logan McDiffitt got fouled in the act of shooting from beyond the arc. He sank all three shots, which was a foreshadowing for the end of the game.
Brady Koontz came in to the game for Hundred to give a much needed spark on defense in the second period and cleaned up under the basket.
After a very sloppy second quarter by both teams, the Hornets went to the locker room with a 26-19 lead..
Clay-Battelle’s Levi King and Nick Bragg led a Cee-Bee comeback in the third quarter. Both of these players stepped up their defense, with King leading the fast breaks while Bragg hit from outside to end the quarter with the Cee-Bees on top 36-34.
The score went back and forth for the first half of the fourth quarter. Hundred started taking the ball inside more to seniors Zach Phillips and Emery Smith. Guards Dalton Kuhn and McDiffitt came up big for the Hornets in the closing minutes. The two guards were as clutch at the end of the game as the cheerleaders were in pregame.It was like throwing a rock into the ocean for these two players.
McDiffitt led the way offensively for Hundred with 14 points, including a three pointer, while Watson netted all his points behind the arc with three swishes. Phillips netted eight points, while Kuhn added seven points, including a triple. Emery Smith, Koontz, Mitch Moore, and Jesse Gorby all contributed points for the Hornets.
The Cee-Bees made more shots than the Hornets from the floor, but were only 9-19 at the stripe, compared with 15-18 charity tosses for the Hornets.
Jefferson Christian 50
The Hundred Hornets posted a repeat win over Jefferson County Christian by the score of 81-50 in boys’ basketball action Jan. 30.
The Hornets opened the flood gates early when they outscored the guests 24-8 in the first eight minutes of the game and pushed the score to 52-25 at the break before calling off the dogs.
However, the rest of the squad kept up the pace and bolted out to a 72-38 advantage before netting only nine in the final period.
Dalton Kuhn led all scorers with 17 points, including three baskets from beyond the arc. Logan McDiffitt, Tyrell Watson, and Zach Phillips each tallied a dozen markers, while Emery Smith dropped in nine points, pulled down 10 rebounds, and dished out five assists.
Brady Koontz had his finest scoring game of the season with eight points. Jesse Tedrow came off the bench and scored seven points, while hauling in five rebounds. Shane Kuhn nailed a three point basket, while Chris Shackleford added a charity toss.
Notre Dame 74, Hundred 50
After playing the state-ranked Fighting Irish toe-to-toe for three periods of play, the Hornets would succumb to Notre Dame, 74-50, Jan. 29 in Clarksburg.
Hundred doubled up the Irish 14-7 in the opening period and went into the locker room up 24-19. However, the Irish used their 6’8” center Caesar Goodman to their advantage in the second half to get the win.
Dalton Kuhn and Emery Smith combined for 33 points, including seven threeballs, while hauling in 10 boards. Hornet teammate Logan McDiffitt contributed nine points, including one from beyond the arc, while Tyrell Watson netted four points and grabbed five boards off the glass. Zach Phillips and Brady Koontz each tallied two points.
“We played excellent basketball for three quarters, but need to extend that to four quarters when you play a team like Notre Dame,” said Hornet Head Coach Justin Balwanz.
The Hornets are currently ranked fourth in the OVAC Class A boys’ division and will try to hold on to that spot when they tangle with Paden City Feb. 5 at Hundred, 7 p.m.
Valley 55, Bishop 71
The Valley Lumberjacks dropped to 7-4 on the season after Bishop Donahue scored a 71-55 victory Jan. 26 in Pine Grove.
The ‘Jacks fell behind 19-9 after one period of play, but matched the Bishops in the second period with 20 points. However, the Lumberjacks fell asleep and their guests would go on a 21-9 run in the third period to put the game on ice.
The ‘Jacks made a run in the fourth period, but the large deficit was too much for Valley to overcome.
Clay Ueltschy and Matt Poling led the way offensively for Valley with a dozen points apiece. Clay added eight rebounds, while Poling dished off six assists and blocked a shot. Alex Henderson netted 11 points, while Garrett Ueltschy contributed 10 markers and pulled down nine boards. Dustin Bickerstaff tallied eight points, including a pair of baskets from beyond the arc, while Scotty Anderson added a deuce.
Lumberjacks 62, Bishops 77
The Bishop Donahue Boys’ Basketball Team doubled up the Valley Lumberjacks 26-13 in the first eight minutes and the ‘Jacks couldn’t recover, as the Bishops held on for a 77-62 victory Jan. 28 in McMechen.
Donahue extended its lead at the break to 19 points and as much as 23 entering the final eight minutes, before the ‘Jacks caught fire to make a game of it.
Clay Ueltschy led the Lumberjacks with 18 points, while Matthew Poling and Jeremiah Burch teamed for 27 that included Burch baskets from beyond the arc. Alex Henderson contributed seven points, including a threeball, while Dustin Bickerstaff and Garrett Ueltschy each netted four markers. Scotty Anderson came off the bench to add a pair of charity tosses for Valley.
Valley ‘Jacks 67, Cameron 44
Valley Lumberjack Alex “Hondo” Henderson tallied 17 points, including a pair of threeballs, to help engineer a 67-44 victory over Cameron in boys basketball action Jan. 29 in the Dragon’s Den.
After trailing 15-9 in the opening period, Valley scored 21 points, while holding the Dragons to 12, to take a 30-27 advantage at the break.
The ‘Jacks continued their dominance in the second half as well, out-distancing the hosts 37-17 for the victory, keeping alive their chances as one of the top four Class A teams in the OVAC.
“We had some kids really boxing out well, which led us to some big rebounds,” said the Lumberjack Head Coach John Kocher. “Cameron started hitting three-pointers early, so we had to pull out on them, and Morris, Henderson and Clay and Garrett Ueltschy cleaned up.”
Following Henderson in the scoring column was Matt Poling with a dozen points, while the Ueltschy boys evenly split 16 points and teamed for 25 rebounds. Morris recorded nine points and hauled in nine rebounds, while Jeremiah Burch netted six markers. Dustin Bickerstaff tallied a three-pointer and a deuce, while Josh Highley chipped in a charity toss.
The ‘Jacks committed 29 turnovers, with most of them coming in the opening period. But, they out-rebounded the Dragons, 55-26 to help garner the repeat victory and move to 8-5 on the season.
PCHS 45, Cameron 51
In a pair of games last week, Paden City led most of the way in one, before dropping a 51-45 decision to Cameron Jan. 25 at Bob Burton Gymnasium. The ‘Cats then fell flat on their face against Beallsville at home the next night in a 76-31 loss.
Against the Dragons, the ‘Cats took a 12-11 lead after one period and had the lead again late in the third before the Dragons ended with a 14-8 run to gain the nod.
Zach Yost paced the Wildcats with 19 points, including a triple, while Josh Bennett added 14 points, including a pair of three point buckets. Malakai Anderson and Peyton Hinkley each tallied five points for the ‘Cats, while Geoffrey Bidwell netted a deuce.
The following night, Paden City was in another dimension as they got stung by the Beallsville Blue Devils, who dominated throughout and prevailed in a 76-31 rout.
Anderson netted a team-high 13 points, while Yost, fresh off his best scoring night of the season, added 11 points that included a threeball. Hinkley, Bennett, and Taylor Still finished the rest of the scoring for Paden City.’
‘Cats 40, Yellowjackets 66
Wildcat Malakai Anderson broke out of a scoring slump against the Williamstown Yellowjackets, but it wasn’t enough for Paden City to overcome in a 66-40 loss Jan. 28 in Williamstown.
The Yellowjackets outscored the ‘Cats in every period, but couldn’t hold Anderson, as he erupted for a game-high 25 points that included a pair of baskets from beyond the arc.
Zach Yost followed with eight points, while Josh Bennett was held to five points, including one from downtown. Peyton Hinkley finished all the Paden City scoring with two points.
River 36, Fort Frye 44
The River Pilots held a slim lead heading into the final period, but couldn’t finish the job as Fort Frye came to life and outscored the Pilots 21-13 in the final eight minutes, upending the Pilots 44-36 Jan. 29 at R. L. Potts Gymnasium.
Sam Ramsier and Dylan and Jordan Potts each tallied a team-high eight points, with Jordan accounting for two three pointers. Ramsier found one from beyond the arc, while Tyler Jeffers and Tucker Brown each contributed five points. Zac Wax netted a deuce for the Pilots, who fell to 6-9 on the season.
The Pilots hosted Buckeye Trail at press time. They will travel to Shenandoah Feb. 5 at 6 p.m.
River Pilots 49, Redskins 28
Following a 9-9 tie after one period, the River Pilots Boys Basketball Team went on a 40-19 run to beat the Caldwell Redskins 49-28 at R. L. Gymnasium in Hannibal Jan. 26.
The duo of Jordan Potts and Dylan Potts combined for 30 points that included a trio of threeballs by Jordan Potts. Jordan Potts’ first three buckets came by way of the long ball, while Dylan Potts tallied 13 of his points in the second half.
Tyler Jeffers contributed 14 points for the Pilots, while Zac Wax netted a threeball and Tucker Brown chipped in with a pair of tosses from the charity stripe.
As a team, the Pilots had 12 steals and didn’t give up any shooting fouls in the second half, while limiting Caldwell to only two foul shots on the night. Brown led the way with four steals.
Dylan and Jordan both had double-doubles, adding 11 and 10 rebounds, respectively, to their scoring.
Magnolia 60, Weir 58
The Magnolia Blue Eagles improved to 11-0 after knocking off the Weir Red Riders with a 60-58 victory Jan. 28 in Weirton.
After being delayed almost an hour by roadwork outside Moundsville, Magnolia was ready to take on the fifth-ranked Riders. But, the long wait must have cooled them down, as the Eagles couldn’t buy a bucket in the first half and fell behind by as much as nine points.
However, the Eagles kept pounding the ball inside because their outside shots weren’t falling. Midway through the third period, Jared Blatt hit a threeball that gave MHS a lead it never relinquished.
The Riders also knotted the game at 43-43 on a three-point play, but the Eagles’ Josh Yost knocked down a snowbird to give Magnolia a 45-43 advantage heading into the final period.
Weir made a basket to start the fourth, knotting the score once more. But, the Eagles ripped off six unanswered points to retake the lead.
The quick Riders then tied the game with another threeball with 2:12 left in regulation. But, Yost and Andy Huggins got free to score on a pair of lay-ins. Jayson Keller came off the bench to can a pair of charity tosses with 12 ticks remaining on the clock.
After sinking one from beyond the arc, the Riders quickly called a time out with five seconds remaining.
On the ensuing throw-in, the Riders fouled Eagle freshman Mark Winters, who went to the line for a one-and-one. However, when Winters missed his first attempt, Weir got the rebound and tossed it to Justin Horstman who had already dropped in three treys. Horstman tried a 30 footer that bounced off the rim as the horn sounded.
Magnolia out rebounded the Riders 43-29 and that was a big reason the Eagles improved to 11-0 on the season. The Eagles made only 22-40 shots from the floor, 2-17 from beyond the arc, and made only 10-18 from the charity line.
Blatt led the Eagles with 17 points and got his double-double by hauling in 18 rebounds, 14 of which were off the offensive glass. Winters followed with 13 points, while Huggins added another double-double with 12 points and 16 rebounds. Ten of Huggins’ rebounds also were off the offensive boards.
Yost also hit in double figures with 11 points, while Keller added four points and Jordan Moore swished the cords from beyond the arc. Blatt rejected three Weir shots, while Winters silenced one.
Blue Eagles 91, Bruins 60
The Magnolia Blue Eagles were too much to handle down the stretch, out-scoring the Brooke Bruins 91-60 Jan. 26 to stay perfect on the season, 11-0. Magnolia got a huge lift by its 43-18 scoring burst in the last quarter-and-a-half at the HammerDome.
The Eagles took a 16-11 upper-hand into the second period before Magnolia Head Coach Dave Tallman sent in junior Traeh “Curly” Keller off the bench to help ignite the Big Blue with four baskets from beyond the arc. He also added a steal and a deuce, while scoring 14 of his 18 points in the period to extend the Eagle lead to 43-18 at the break.
Bruins top dog Justin Sabo got hot and was able to help Brooke close the gap to 48-42, with half the third period remaining, when he scored 11 points, including three treys.
However, Magnolia held their turf well and closed the third period with a 17-2 run to extend its lead to 65-44 with the help of Mark Winters’ eight tallies that included a pair of long range bombs.
In the final period, Magnolia tallied 26 points, keyed by a combined 10 points from Josh Yost and Andy Huggins. Winters added a pair of triples in the period along with Matt “Slick” Sapp to blow the door wide open for another win.
Keller and Winters each tallied 18 points, including four three point baskets, while Yost was Mr. Consistent with 16 points. Huggins dented the scoreboard with nine points, while Jared Blatt, Matt Sapp and Jordan Moore each added eight markers. Jayson Keller contributed four points, while Lief Lallathin came off the bench late in the game and added a basket, hauled in a board, and had a steal.
“In 10 games so far this season, we have had eight different kids hit in double figures and I think that’s pretty unselfish basketball,” said Tallman. “Offensive rebounding kept us in the game early on and our outside shooting got us going after that.”
Magnolia tallied a dozen baskets from beyond the arc.
In the junior varsity game, Nick Blatt tallied 10 points to lead Magnolia over Brooke, 38-31.