LOST CREEK, W.Va. — Junior Colby Barr’s 26th and 27th points of the game with 3.4 seconds left propelled Clay-Battelle past East Hardy, 76-74 in the West Virginia Hometown Invitation Tournament Shootout at South Harrison High School.
Barr scored off a post feed from Preston Luzader and his layup gave the Cee-Bees the winning margin in one of their best victories of the season.
“Colby does well around the rim for us. We have a couple different inbounds plays designed for him in particular. There’s one or two, I bet he has fifty or sixty points off of the last two years,” said Clay-Battelle head coach Josh Kisner. “They came together in the end and did what they were supposed to do.”
East Hardy needed just five minutes in the first quarter to build a 23-11 lead. Senior guard Ashton Haslacker connected on four three-pointers in the opening frame. He ended the game with seven triples and a team-best 25 points. Clay-Battelle used a 12-2 run late in the first quarter to creep within three points at 28-25.
“We started out in a zone and I felt like they couldn’t miss. They had nine 3’s in the first half. We had to jump into a man and try to get on their shooters a little bit. When one shooter for them cooled off, someone else picked it up.”
The Cee-Bees briefly took a 37-35 lead in the second quarter before the Cougars answered with a 7-0 run. East Hardy led 45-43 at halftime.
Clay-Battelle began to work the ball inside to Barr and Preston Luzader with regularity in the third quarter. The Cee-Bees led 62-58 going into the final frame.
“We’re a big team and those guys do a great job around the rim. Trying to get the ball inside is always one of our go-to plays.”
East Hardy regained the lead [63-62] with seven minutes to play courtesy of a three-pointer from Jordan Teets. Clay-Battelle scored the next six points to take a 68-63 lead with 4:30 remaining.
With 90 seconds left, Haslacker delivered his seventh and final triple of the game, giving the Cougars a 73-72 lead. The teams exchanged free throws on their next possessions to tie the game at 74 and setting the stage for Barr’s winning basket.
East Hardy turned the ball over with 0.6 seconds left on their final possession.
Kohlton St. Clair scored 20 points for the Cee-Bees (11-6) and Luzader added 17 points.
“They’re a great team and a well-coached team. This is a quality win for us,” Kisner said.
East Hardy (13-5) saw their nine-game win streak come to an end. J.W. Teets scored 21 points for the Cougars and Jordan Teets added 12.
Schedule note: The final game of the Shootout between South Harrison and Tygarts Valley has been postponed. Efforts will be made to reschedule the game later in the season.