BECKLEY, W.Va. — Tommy Williams poured in game-high 26 points, and Shady Spring outscored Wyoming East 20-10 over the final 8:23 in a 64-45 victory in the Class AA boys championship of the Big Atlantic Classic on Saturday.
“We’ve never won this Big Atlantic before and we talked about it,” Shady Spring coach Ronnie Olson said. “To us, that’s big. We know they’ve won it many times, but wanted to win it and put it in the trophy case at our new facility.
“When it got tight there, we talked about defense was going to win it. Once we started making some big buckets, our defense stepped up and got a lot of stops.”
Williams keyed Shady Spring (14-2) to a 32-21 halftime lead, scoring 19 points over the first two quarters, including 13 in the second. He hit back-to-back 3-pointers to turn a 16-all tie into a six-point Tigers’ lead.
With Shady Spring leading 27-19, Williams hit another 3, then added two free throws before the break.
“He’s tough to stop. He can go inside or outside and knock it down from deep,” Olson said. “He can do it all. I’ve told people all year long, he’s one of the best players — not in the area, but in the state. He makes us go. He’s a silent assassin. They were hungry today.”
The Warriors (7-10) started the second half in strong fashion and used an 8-2 run to close to within 34-29 with 5:57 remaining in the third quarter. Evan Preece and Jacob Bishop combined to score all eight Wyoming East points during its early second-half surge, but a Ryan Riffe 3 and Williams’ layup off a drive to the basket pushed the Tigers’ lead back up to 10.
Erick Bevil then scored the final five points of the third quarter to turn a 44-35 Shady Spring lead into a 14-point advantage.
Shady Spring was never seriously threatened in the fourth quarter as it maintained its double digit advantage to record its 10th win in its last 11 games.
Willioams made 9-of-20 field goals and 5-of-11 3-pointers in the victory, while also adding seven rebounds and seven assists.
Bevil added 14 points, Riffe scored 11 and the Tigers shot better than 50 percent (23-of-43) from the field in the win.
Haven Chapman pulled down 10 rebounds in the win, helping Shady Spring control the battle of the boards, 35-17.
“They’re still hungry and they want to be dogs. That’s what it takes” Olson said. “They’re going hard and they wanted this. This was a goal, but our ultimate goal is to go up the turnpike and be in Charleston in a couple weeks.”
McQuade Canada scored a team-high 11 points in the loss, while Preece added 10 and Bishop scored nine.
Wyoming East committed only seven turnovers, but shot less than 33 percent (16-of-49) and made only 4-of-21 3s.
Shady Spring, which defeated Wyoming East 69-67 earlier this season, will play the Warriors at least once more on Feb. 11.