Central Hammers Hornets
WELLSBURG – It took Wheeling Central nearly five minutes to find its groove Tuesday night. But once it did, the Maroon Knights were simply unstoppable. Central found itself trailing Hundred, 13-7, with just over three minutes left in the opening quarter in a Region One, Section One affair at Brooke High School. Hornets’ senior standout Cody Soles delivered 11 of those points.
The Maroon Knights, however, turned the tables on the strength of a most remarkable run. Coach Mel Stephens’ charges ended the half on an amazing 42-1 surge for a 49-14 advantage, eliminating any doubts of the game’s outcome.
“I think we were a little rusty at the start. We were settling for some jump shots. Then we were able to get inside and get easier shots,” Stephens said. “Give Hundred credit. They came out and played hard. I just think they ran out of gas.”
The win improved Central to 16-7 on the campaign. The Maroon Knights will now face Cameron for the sectional championship Friday at 7 p.m., again at Brooke. Coach Tom Hart’s Dragons knocked off Madonna, 53-37, in Tuesday’s opener.
Central owned a 25-13 lead after the opening quarter, scoring the final 18 points of the frame. Athletic senior Jalen Creighton netted 12 points in the quarter.
J.C. Maxwell and Ryan Reasbeck fueled the Maroon Knights’ second quarter outburst with eight and seven points, respectively.
Stephens pulled the plug on his starters very early in the third quarter, enabling his reserves to get quality time.
The Knights placed five players in double figures.
Reasbeck and Creighton led the way with 14 points each. Maxwell was next with 12, while Michael Toepfer and Vinnie High evenly divided 22. Nine Knights made their way into the scoring column.
Soles was impressive in defeat. He topped all scorers with 23 points, including four treys, while adding rebounds, assists, – steals and –block shots. Logan Norris followed with 7-points, including one basket from beyond the arch, and rebounds,- -steals, and assists, while Aaron Stephens collected 5-points, -assists and steals. Martin Baker tallied 2-points, but had -rebounds, and -steals. Bobby Hostutler didn’t score, but helped with -rebounds, as well as Eli Geho, who had -rebounds.
Wheeling Central committed just nine turnovers. The Hornets were guilty of 16, 14 coming prior to intermission as the Central full-court pressure took its toll.
The loss dropped the curtain on an excellent campaign for the Hundred Hornets and Head Coach Virgil Wilkins, where they had more wins than any HHS Boys basketball team with a fine 15-10 record, as well as qualifying for the OVAC Class 1A tournament.
The Hundred Hornets will lose quite a few to graduation, starting with Logan Norris, William Lemasters, Eli Geho, Cody Soles, Martin Baker, Adam and Aaron Stephens. However, the Hornets will return Dylan Ray, Hunter Morgan, Christian Fluharty, Levi Eakin, Gauge Boston, Robert Hostutler, Everett Johnson, Issac Price, Illias Fox and Jeffery Morris.