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Wildcats battle way to win over Mustangs

Lead Summary

     DODSONVILLE – Entering the half with the game tied at 27, both the Lynchburg-Clay Mustangs and Whiteoak Wildcats kept the game close up until the very end, but timely scoring and the prevention of a Mustangs rally near the end of the game gave the Wildcats their second win of the season as they defeated L-C 61-56 Tuesday night at LCHS.

     This was the non-Southern Hills League game of the season in the county rivalry matchup.

     Whiteoak (2-1) broke the tie in the third quarter by jumping out to a 39-34 advantage. After senior Ben Barnett took a charge for the Wildcats, junior Joe Michael forced a turnover with a steal and found an open Ethan Eyre for two points to give WHS a 41-36 lead.

     The Wildcats continued to extend their lead (46-36) with five-straight points, including a 3-pointer, from Mike Carraher, leaving 29 seconds left in the third. Kyle Cope made it a 13-point lead for WHS as he lobbed up a 3-pointer at the buzzer.

     The Mustangs (0-1) didn’t back down in the final eight minutes with buckets from Steven Collins and Dylan Noll. WHS answered with another 3-pointer from Cope, then extended their lead with points from Barnett to make the score 54-40 at the 5:52 mark of the final quarter.

     Noll made a put back basket, along with the ensuing free throw as he was fouled as he made the initial basket, cutting the WHS lead to 10 points in the Mustangs’ season opener.

     Austin Fawley brought L-C closer with fast break points, followed with an open layup by Noll to bring the Mustangs within six points of the lead at 56-50.

     At the 1:29 mark of the final quarter senior Jorden DeHaas went to the hoop for two points, cutting the WHS lead to 56-52.

     WHS came back with two free throws, but DeHaas was there again to chip away at the Wildcat lead with timely points for the Mustangs.

     Carraher sank two free throws with 27.9 left in the game and a 3-point attempt by L-C came up short as WHS sealed the win with one last free throw by Carraher.

     “We’ve been trying to open up more with our shooting,” WHS head coach Tom Wessner said. “Joe played a good game inside for us and when they started to collapse on him, we went to our outside shooters. We need to score points with those guys.”

     One item Wessner wants to improve on is the Wildcats’ free throw shooting as WHS was 13 of 26 for 50 percent.

     “We’ve been trying to focus on that in practice,” Wessner said. “We must shoot well from the line when we play Eastern Friday or it won’t be a close game.”

     In the opening quarter L-C took an early 4-3 lead with Aaron Skaggs connecting twice from the free-throw line at the 5:56 mark of the first quarter.

     Carraher came back with a 3-pointer at the 4:21 mark of the quarter to put the WHS lead at four points (10-6). Jerry Stuckey sank a 3-point basket for the Wildcats at the 3:09 mark of the first.

     With WHS leading 17-13 at the start of the second, points by Michael put WHS ahead by five points.

     L-C came back with a corner jumper and a 3-pointer by Fawley to tie the game at 20 with 4:18 left in the first half.

      A steal by Tyler Davidson and a layup by DeHaas gave the Mustangs the lead at 22-20 with 3:42 left in the first half.

     Points by Cope and Michael, who went to the basket on a fast break, put WHS in the lead at 24-22.

     L-C tied the game at 27 with a 3-pointer from Aaron Skaggs.

     Carraher and Noll each finished with a game-high 20 points. Carraher sank a total of five 3-pointers. Michael netted 17 points. Fawley ended the game with 11.

     L-C was 5 of 8 from the free-throw line. WHS sank eight 3-pointers.

     “Mike (Carraher) shot the ball well,” Wessner said. “He played his first varsity game here last year and it was good he already knew the surroundings. Joe (Michael) cleared the boards for us and did a very nice job.”

     WHS will play again Friday as they face Eastern Brown at EBHS. L-C will play at Fayetteville Friday.




WHS - 17 10 22 12 – 61

LCHS – 13 14 9 20 – 56



WHS (61)

J.Stuckey 0 (1) 3, B.Barnett 2 -24 6, K.Cope 0 (2) 3-4 9, J.Michael 6 5-12 17, E.Eyre 3 0-1 6, M.Carraher 1 (5) 3-4 20. TOTALS: 12 (8) 13-26 61.


LCHS (56)

D.Puckett 1 0-1 2, A.Skaggs 2 (1) 2-2 9, J.DeHaas 6 12, A.Fawley 2 (2) 1-3 11, D.Noll 9 2-2 20, S.Collins 1 2. TOTALS: 21 (3) 5-8 56.

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