The Yellow Jackets defensive strategy was working, but rebounding and turnovers erased the efforts and the first half lead disappeared in the second half as Class AAA Washington rallied in the final period for a 37-33 victory in Moorefield on Tuesday.
“That was a good defensive effort to hold Washington to 37 points is something they can be proud of,” Moorefield Coach Scott Stutler commented.
“We switched it up and played a little zone, but we play zone throughout the season and it’s nothing new. We just stayed in it longer today, because they weren’t hitting shots. We were playing it good, so we will continue to mix up our zone and man defense. In the second half we stopped rebounding the ball. They got 15 offensive rebounds and we had some bad turnovers and we shot horribly in the paint. You can’t win games like that. We’ve talked about it all year. We just rebounded better in the first half, that’s the ball game. When we give up offensive rebounds, we don’t have a chance to win. That was the difference between the first and second half.”
Opportunities were there for rebounding as the Patriots (6-9) missed 34 field goals and Moorefield (3-13) hit the rim 23 times, but the Yellow Jackets were out-rebounded 29 to 25.
Washington managed to force 15 turnovers, while committing only eight in the contest.
Moorefield won the opening tip, but couldn’t be controlled in front of the home bench.
Garett Haggerty blocked a shot for the Yellow Jackets on defense and teammate Blake Watts recovered.
Moorefield’s Brent Moran cut inside the paint and dished outside to Chase Vance for a long distance jumper for the initial 2-nil lead at the 7:00 mark.
Haggerty made a defensive rebound and Washington’s Trajon Brown collected one on the following possession which led to his own basket at 6:15 to tie the game.
Haggerty found Vance open for a go-ahead 3-pointer, one of his four perimeter shots on the night en route to a game-high 24 points for the Yellow Jackets.
“Chase Vance had an excellent game, he played a great game. He’s been coming on as of late. He hit four 3-pointers tonight and has been going hard to the basket which is what we look for him to do,” Coach Stutler noted.
After a timeout, the Patriots drew up a play for Brown scoring in the paint to make it 5-4.
Over the next two and half minutes, Moorefield missed five baskets and Washington bricked six times before Daniel Moylan hit a jumper for the Patriots to change the lead 6-5 at the 2:30 mark.
The Yellow Jackets regained the lead at 2:11 on a jumper in the paint by Vance, 7-6.
Moorefield was in a zone defense which helped to eliminate various cuts to the basket and make sure shots were altered.
Moran grabbed a defensive rebound, but Washington’s Brian Megonigal stole the ball and missed with Vance collecting the carom.
It went back and forth with missed shots before Davian Hester hit a 3-pointer for the Patriots to take a 9-7 lead.