Defense lifts Warriors over Shady
By John Conley firstname.lastname@example.org
When Wyoming East turned up the heat, Shady Spring went cold.
The AA No. 4 Warriors held the Tigers to 15 second half points in a 63-47 win at New Richmond on Saturday night.
Shady used three-point shooting and baseline drives to take a 32-30 lead into the dressing room.
“We changed our defense (at the half),” said East coach Rory Chapman. “We put Logan Blankenship on the ball and he put some heat on the ballhandler.”
The change gradually turned the tide. Shady went nearly seven minutes without a field goal in one stretch and the Warriors pulled away in the final minutes. East scored the last 10 points of the game, most of them at the charity stripe.
“We might have been a little tired from playing the night before,” Chapman noted. “And we may have been looking ahead a little bit (to Bluefield).”
Austin Canada and Christian Hedinger did most of the scoring as WEHS jumped to a 14-5 lead in the first quarter.
Shady’s Steven Chhabra converted a conventional three-point play and scored inside to pull the Tigers to within 17-14 at the end of the first quarter.
Chhabra’s three to start the second period tied it, and it was tight for the rest of the half.
Canada popped in a 12 footer from the lane, and Hedinger connected inside to give the Warriors a 29-25 edge, but the Tigers got back-to-back treys from Jordan Meadows to take their first lead at 31-29.
“Shady has a pretty good team,” Chapman commented.
East, which hit five threes in the first half, started taking the ball inside in the second half.
It was 38-38 when the Warriors went in front for good on David Carte’s lay up off a feed from Canada.
John Morgan took a pass from Blankenship and laid it in the at the buzzer to make it 42-38.
Carte scored on a put back in the opening seconds of the fourth quarter.
Shady spread the floor and held on to the ball for over a minute. But when the Tigers went into their offense, Canada stripped the ball and drove in for an easy two to push the lead to eight.
Meadows got the visitor within 48-43 with a three-pointer.
Jordan Hayes made the first of two foul shots. Blankenship rebounded the second and laid it in to make it an eight-point lead again.
Carte scored off a dish from Canada to make it 53-43.
East was 8-8 at the line in the final 1:41 to salt the game away.
Canada had 23 to lead the Warriors, and Hedinger tossed in 13. Hayes (7), Carte (6), Alec Lusk (5), Blankenship (5) and Morgan (4) rounded out the scoring.
Chhabra paced the Tigers with 19, and Meadows had 15, all on three-pointers.
East is now 6-0 and visits No. 1 Bluefield on Tuesday.
“We’re excited,” Chapman said. “They’re No. 1 and the defending state champions. We’ll see what happens.”
Photo: Jordan Hayes of Wyoming East puts up a shot in Saturday’s game with Shady Spring.
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