CHARLESTON, W.Va. — Cabell Midland freshman Chandler Schmidt has been playing beyond his years throughout this season.
Schmidt saved his finest moment yet for the biggest stage, scoring all six of his team’s points in overtime, including a jump shot with 11 seconds left to lift Cabell Midland over George Washington, 64-62.
“I don’t know that Schmidt missed a shot that he had to make,” GW coach Rick Greene said. “As a freshman on this stage, he did quite well.”
The Knights (19-7) advance to a 9 p.m. semifinal Friday against No. 2 University, while the defending state champion Patriots finish the season 20-6.
“It was a great game and a great atmosphere for basketball,” Cabell Midland coach Rick Chaffin said. “GW played a great game they have a very good basketball team, but our kids stepped up.
“We were battling like a heavyweight boxing match. The game going to overtime exemplifies how hard and well both teams were playing.”
The game went to the extra session tied at 58 and Schmidt answered Gus Eddy’s basket to keep it knotted at 60. Jack Ingold scored on a follow-up that allowed GW to regain the lead, but Schmidt scored from close range to knot it at 62.
He then hit what proved to be the game-winner as the attempt to tie by GW’s Bunky Brown fell off the mark.
“I felt like when I drove, I was on, so I shot it,” Schmidt said.
The contest was tight throughout. GW’s William Gabbert scored the last four points of the first quarter to break a 9-all tie, but the Knights started the second quarter on a 9-4 run and went ahead by one point on Isaiah Collins’ 3-pointer.
An 8-2 GW run followed, allowing them to take the biggest lead of the first half at 25-20. But Tanner Paugh’s trey just before the first half ended cut the Knights’ deficit to two at halftime.
GW looked to be in control following consecutive 3s by Brown and Alex Yoakum, which allowed the Patriots to lead 36-27 at the 4:40 mark of the third quarter.
But the Knights scored 17 points over the final 4:20 of the period, seven of which came from Schmidt. His 3 at the 1:23 mark gave Cabell Midland a one-point lead, and the Knights had a 44-43 advantage entering the fourth.
“We had a little cushion, then their press gave us some trouble,” Greene said. “They made one more play than we did, so they get to advance.”
Brown and Eddy combined to score the first six points of the fourth to put GW up by five, but the Knights’ Ty Sturm scored seven points in 2:41 to give his team a 53-52 lead.
Brown made two free throws with 1:13 left to break a 56-all tie, but Schmidt tied the game on a layup with 59 seconds remaining.
“In the beginning, I was just off. I wouldn’t say I was nervous, but I didn’t have the confidence that I had in the second half to drive to the hoop and do what I do,” Schmidt said.
Schmidt scored 21 points, 17 of which came after halftime. Sturm added 15 to go with seven rebounds.
Jake Edwards and Tyler Straub contributed eight points apiece in the win.
“I told our kids, if we have four guys around double figures and two others scoring six per game, we’ll be a good basketball team around tournament time,” Chaffin said. “That’s what we did.”
Brown poured in a game-high 27 points, but made only 7-of-22 shots.
He finished his high school career as the leading scorer in school history
Gabbert had 12 points off the bench.