CHARLESTON, W.Va. — George Washington (17-5) finished the regular season at No. 4 overall in the MetroNews Power Index as the Patriots open up postseason play on Thursday against Capital (12-7) in a sectional elimination contest.
George Washington had won eight in a row prior to a 77-64 regular season finale loss to Parkersburg South.
“I just think we’re talking better on the floor, communicating a little better, moving the ball better – just all the little things that coaches harp about,” George Washington head coach Rick Greene said. “The chemistry has always been good – our kids get along well. I think we’ve been playing as consistent as we have all year.”
The Patriots enter postseason play out of Class AAA’s loaded Region 3 with GW, South Charleston, Capital, Woodrow Wilson and Greenbrier East all capable of making legitimate postseason runs.
“If you’re not ready to go, then you’re probably going to go home pretty quick,” Greene said. “I just think it’s whomever is better that night.”
If the Patriots are going to make a postseason run, they will no doubt be leaning on standout Jon Elmore who has led the state in scoring throughout the year after returning to the Charleston area following time at a prep school in North Carolina.
“He’s just brought a calmness to us – he was just what we needed,” said Greene. “He’s was just that great veteran that stepped in and made everybody better. He could go to any team in the state and make them better. I just think he’s the best player in the state and I think he’s a great high school player.”
As for Thursday’s matchup against Capital, the two teams split the regular season series as both teams won away from home (Capital won at GW 83-73 and GW beat the Cougars on the road 70-61 last month).
“They beat us the first game (of the season) at our place by 10 and we beat them in overtime there,” Greene said. “So, it’s whomever is playing well that night through our whole section.”
The winner on Thursday will move on to face either Ripley or South Charleston on Saturday in the sectional final.
“We will have to take care of the basketball and keep them off the boards. If we can do those two things, then we have a shot to be in it. We just can’t give them too many second chances,” Greene said. “If it doesn’t go down to the wire with someone making a play in the last 20 or 30 seconds, I’ll be kind of surprised.”
CLASS AAA REGION 3, SECTION 1
Ripley 70, Riverside 67 OT
Ripley at South Charleston
Capital at George Washington
Winners at highest remaining seed
CLASS AAA REGION 3, SECTION 2