Central knocks off Stonewall
WOODSTOCK –Central coach Brandon Shields had been looking for a complete game from his team early in the season, and on Saturday night he got pretty much what he wanted.
The Falcons shot the ball and played together well en route to a 66-58 boys basketball victory over Stonewall Jackson.
“I thought we were pretty resilient. I thought we played really hard for the most part,” Shields said. “I thought we executed what we wanted to do today very well. …I thought we got for the most part what we wanted offensively.”
The Falcons (3-2) trailed 42-41 entering the final period, but scored 25 points in the final eight minutes.
The two teams traded baskets to start the fourth until a driving layup by Austin Fadely and a 3-pointer by Kobi Hoover gave the Falcons a 48-44 edge.
The two teams went back and forth until Central senior Joey McConkey hit two free throws and scored on a layup to push the lead to 54-48 with 3:57 left.
“It was just heart,” McConkey said of Central’s fourth period. “We just really wanted that game, and went out there and played our butts off.”
Stonewall Jackson sophomore Ian Pugh cut the lead to 54-50 with a basket, but Fadely answered with a dagger.
Fadely drained a 3-pointer to extend the lead to 57-50 with 3:08 remaining.
“All I know is the ball somehow landed in my hands,” Fadely said. “I don’t really know how it got there, but I noticed no one was on me so I just pulled the trigger. Coach always says to me if I’m open shoot it, and I did and it went in.”
The Generals (0-2) were able to cut the lead to four points, 61-57, with 50 seconds left, but Central’s Brady Baker, Hoover and Fadely combined for five free throws down the stretch to seal the win.
Shields said he was really happy for McConkey who had 16 points, and did a lot of the little things that his team needed. Shields said it’s important for McConkey to be the glue of the team.
“When he does that we’re a better team. When he comes ready to play we’re a better team,” Shields said. “I’m just real proud of him. He deserves it. He’s been working hard, and I’m glad to see good things happen for him tonight.”
The game was back and forth but the Generals never led by more than three points. Stonewall Jackson senior Kory Somers scored eight of his team-high 16 points in the first quarter.
Pugh had 14 points, while Ryan Smith had 13.
“The kids they have talent, but they got to have heart,” Stonewall Jackson coach Patrick Smoot said. “They’ve got to have the want to get out there and get better. …You can’t coach heart. You can’t convince them that they got to do it. They got to do it themselves.”
Fadely finished with a game-high 19 points, and Hoover added 18. Central made nine 3-pointers, going 9-for-20 from beyond the arc.
The Falcons have won three of their last four games, Fadely said it was nice to get the win, especially against a county rival.
“Of course it’s a county game, so everyone wants to win this,” Fadely said. “It just feels great. Everyone in the locker room was going crazy after the win. It’s a great feeling.”
Contact staff writer Tommy Keeler at 540-465-5137 ext. 168, or email@example.com