By Tommy Keeler Jr.
WINCHESTER -- It was only fitting that the Tuesday's Sherando-Handley boys basketball game changed in the blink of an eye.
Both teams were playing at a frantic, fast pace, and Handley used a run during the span of two minutes to take control, in an 82-72 win over the Warriors in Northwestern District action.
"That was big. We needed that," Handley coach Tommy Dixon said of Handley's run late in the third quarter. "We had several eight,-nine-point leads and just threw them away."
The Warriors, who led only once (7-6) in the game, had cut the lead to 53-51 with 2:03 left in the third quarter. Just 25 seconds earlier, two of Sherando's top scorers Aaron Miller and Tanner Ruths were taken out of the game due to foul trouble.
Handley seized on the situation with a 9-0 run to end the quarter.
"Aaron [Miller] and Tanner [Ruths] got in a little foul trouble and so we had to take them out, and I think that hurt us a little bit," Sherando coach Garland Williams said.
The Judges showed their balance during the run, as they scored from inside and out, and had four different players score.
Sherando was able to cut the lead to eight a few times in the fourth quarter, but that would be as close as they would get.
Handley used its depth and speed to play at a fast pace, and Sherando had trouble keeping up. Williams said if the Warriors could have got ahead he would liked to have slowed things down, but they couldn't get the lead.
The Judges took an early lead led by center Cameron Jackson, who had 10 of his 21 points in the opening quarter.
Sherando responded in the second quarter as Isaiah Williams and Ruths scored 13 of the team's 16 points in the period. Handley scored 27 points in the third quarter, with six different players scoring.
The Judges' bench came up big as Solomon Finley had a game-high 22 points, and Will Dearing added 12 off the bench.
Starter Jacob Rudolph also had 12 points for the Judges.
"I hope that we're starting to play well at the right time," Dixon said. "There's some little things we need to work on in our offense, and if we can get that right I think we'll be OK."
Isaiah Williams and Miller each had 20 to lead the Warriors, while Ruths added 14. Sherando beat Handley in its first meeting, and the Warriors have already locked up the district title and the automatic region berth.
"I think this was a good game for us in that we were behind, just like in the Millbrook game [last week]," Garland Williams said. "It was a good experience for us, and hopefully we can learn from it moving forward."
Contact Assistant Sports Editor Tommy Keeler at 540-465-5137 ext. 155, or firstname.lastname@example.org