Trailing by 25 points in the first half and still down by 17 points entering the final stanza, the Yellow Jackets buzzed to life swarming the Mountain Lair outscoring Tucker County 33-13 to secure a 68-65 comeback which was the first win on the road against the Mountain Lions in program history last Tuesday.
“We talked at halftime and said hey, we shot really poorly in the first half and they shot really good. We knew we weren’t out of it and said let’s just make something happen and have a good time,” Moorefield Boys Basketball coach Scott Stutler commented.
“We had a good time celebrating after we won it. After the third quarter, we just kept our heads in the game. They played hard and played with heart. We talk about playing with heart and playing hard and just hitting shots. They did great in the second half. They were just running crazy in the second half, they got some steals and got some putbacks. We hit some big shots, [Coleman] Mongold hit some big shots and [Yosef] Malaki went in and made an and-one. Trevor Shoemaker, Thomas [Williams] and Chase [Vance] were all playing with heart, they were selling out on the court. It was all heart at that point being tired and they just never gave up. That is what we have tried to preach all year. I have never been here to Tucker County in basketball and won before, so for these guys to come up here and get a win, especially a win like that its great and they are deserving of it. They deserve that win.”
Moorefield senior Chase Vance recorded a game-high 20 points enabling the Yellow Jackets to fly above the Mountain Lions in the comeback win making history on the road.
The Yellow Jackets completed the season sweep having won in the Hive by 20 points earlier this season and knew there was a certain formula to create the success rallying on the road.
“This is absolutely amazing, unexplainable. That’s Mamba mentality. We’ve never done anything like that before in my life. It feels great. We have more heart than anyone,” Moorefield senior Chase Vance remarked.
An offensive call was assessed on Tucker County’s Zach Long to begin the fourth period, then the Yellow Jackets hit the rim and Wyatt Betler collected the rebound for the Mountain Lions.
The Mountain Lions (3-17) lost the ball out of bounds as Gus Mullennex fumbled it falling to the floor and Moorefield (9-10) took possession.
There was a battle for a rebound with a foul called on the Mountain Lions, then Moorefield’s Thomas Williams drilled a 3-pointer at the 7:03 mark, 52-38.
A steal by Moorefield’s Chase Vance didn’t create points, then Tucker County came away with the rebound by Mullennex and finished the possession on a putback by Betler at 6:27.
An errant shot by the Yellow Jackets with a dive for the loose ball by Williams collecting it simultaneously being fouled by Tucker County’s Zach Colebank.
Brent Moran knocked down a 3-pointer for the Yellow Jackets with 5:58 remaining as the score stood at 54-41 and the momentum combined with the positive vibes kept the will power to win effervescent.
Moorefield applied pressure and the Mountain Lions broke the initial wave with a basket by Betler in 14 seconds.
An offensive rebound by Yosef Malaki turned into an old-fashioned three-point play for the Yellow Jackets at the 5:11 mark, 56-44.
Tucker County’s Betler and Haden Wamsley sandwiched field goals around one by Moorefield’s Vance in a span of 30 seconds, 60-46.
After a block by Tucker Country’s Grayson Pennington, Moran picked up his fourth foul.
The Mountain Lions missed two shots and Malaki redirected the ball to Trevor Shoemaker, who crashed into Pennington drawing the defensive foul and wasn’t able to connect at the line.
Mullennex snatched the rebound, but Shoemaker had some redemption with a steal and layup cutting the deficit down to 60-48 with 3:50 left.
Pressure by the Yellow Jackets was a little too tight as Moran fouled out, then Malaki stole the ball and netted a basket at 3:34 with a foul called on Tucker County.
The free throw wasn’t good, but Williams snatched the board and was fouled, but the next foul shot also hit the rim with Shoemaker grabbing the carom and Betler blocking the shot.
The Mountain Lions missed a free throw and Moorefield went back to work chipping away at the lead as Coleman Mongold hit a 3-pointer with 3:11 remaining, 60-53.
Tucker County missed two free throws with Shoemaker collecting the rebound, then Shoemaker added one foul shot for the Yellow Jackets at the 3:00 mark and grabbed the ensuing rebound.
A defensive rebound by the Mountain Lions was stolen by Shoemaker for a basket at the 2:52 mark, 60-56.
Malaki swiped the ball and hit the rim and Tucker County took possession with a quick foul by Moorefield and no free throw made as a result.
Mongold nailed a jumper, then made a steal and tied the game for the Yellow Jackets with 2:13 to go, 60-all.
Tucker County made a deep pass over the pressure and Mullennex was fouled leading to two charity stripe buckets to regain the lead at 2:10.
Vance netted a jumper with 1:52 on the clock which locked the score again.
Long scored for the Mountain Lions, but Moorefield responded with two free throws by Vance with 1:19 left, 64-all.
Shoemaker fouled out as Betler went to the free throw line making just one foul shot at 1:05 for a 65-64 Tucker County edge.
A layup was executed by Vance giving the Yellow Jackets the lead 66-65 with