Fadely’s fourth-period shooting lifts Falcons
WOODSTOCK — Austin Fadely picked the right time to find his shooting touch.
The Central senior has struggled this year, but in the fourth period Saturday he hit two big 3-pointers. Fadely gave the Falcons a boost as they knocked off Warren County 75-68 in Bull Run District boys basketball action.
“It had been a rough few games, but I think I found my rhythm again,” said Fadely, who scored 9 points in the fourth period. “Thanks to my teammates helping me boost my confidence, telling me that I need to shoot more and look for my shot. Luckily, it fell tonight.”
The game was part of Hall of Fame night at Central. In between the boys and girls games nine new members of Central’s Hall of Fame were introduced.
The game was tied at 52 entering the fourth period. Central had led by as many as 13 points in the first half.
Warren County’s Cam Ford gave the Wildcats a 54-52 lead with a jumper with 7:14 remaining.
The Wildcats pushed the lead to 58-55 with 6:26 left in the game on a Ford free throw.
Fadely hit back-to-back 3-pointers to give Central the lead for good.
“He hit some senior shots for us,” Central coach Brandon Shields said. “He really stepped up. I’m proud of the way he responded.”
Central’s Varsey Bright followed with a 3-pointer as Central stretched the lead to 64-58 with 2:54 left in the game.
Two free throws by Ford cut the lead to four, but that was as close as the Wildcats would get the remainder of the game. Warren County coach Tony Clark said his team has had trouble finishing games all season.
“We had a situation where we missed the two free throws on the 3-point foul, and then we missed two layups. One was a breakaway all by yourself layup,” Clark said. “So then missing those layups, they came back and hit two 3’s. That stretch right there has been happening to us all year long, and we have to figure a way to manage that.”
Central couldn’t have started the game much better. The Falcons scored 26 points in the opening period.
They hit five 3-pointers and scored on layups in their transition game to build a 26-13 lead after one period.
“Everything was just falling for us,” Fadely said. “We were just getting one extra pass, and the shot was falling. We played good team defense, and we all just helped each other and boost each other up. It was a great first quarter, which is how we want to play throughout the whole game.”
The Wildcats cut the lead to nine at the half, and made a big run in the third period.
Warren County went on a 13-3 run to start the period and take a 42-41 lead.
“At halftime we made some adjustments to (Central’s) offensive set,” Clark said. “I think we contested 3’s a lot better. And we made that great run in the third quarter, which may have been the best basketball we’ve played all year long.”
Central’s Luke Estep, who had a team-high 24 points, hit two 3-pointers to help Central take a 52-47 lead late in the third period.
“Luke (Estep) kept us alive in that third quarter,” Shields said. “We were sluggish. We weren’t doing anything fast. He really hit those two 3’s that were huge for us to keep us afloat, because it could have gotten out of hand if he misses those 3’s.”
Ford answered with a pair of free throws, and Warren County’s Collin Garnett hit a 3-pointer to tie the game after three periods.
Ford had a game-high 25 points and eight rebounds, and Robert Rutherford added 12 points and five rebounds for the Wildcats.
Fadely finished with 17 points, and Bright had 15 points and eight rebounds. Hank Hoover had 8 points and 10 rebounds, while Kobi Hoover had four points and 12 rebounds for Central.
The Falcons also lost their composure at times and were called for three technical fouls during the game.
“I was happy with competitive fire we had, but we need to channel that into more positive activity,” Shields said. “We’ve got to make decisions for our teammates, and not just off of raw emotions and trying to be fake tough and instigating. …When we get distracted from us, we don’t do well. If we just focus on us, and not let the other noise and other things going on distract us we’re not a bad team.”
Contact staff writer Tommy Keeler at 540-465-5137 ext. 168, or firstname.lastname@example.org