Sherando holds off Skyline for victory
FRONT ROYAL – Sherando used a run in the second period to build a lead on Tuesday night and then held off every Skyline run.
The Warriors made enough plays down the stretch to pull out a 58-50 Northwestern District boys basketball victory over the Hawks.
“It was a tough ballgame Both teams played hard. We just didn’t make the plays when we needed them,” Skyline coach Jeff Monroe said. “… Their kids know how to win, and that’s what we’re striving to get to. To learn how to win.”
It was a game of runs throughout. Sherando built an early 14-7 lead, hitting six of its first eight shots. Sherando’s Azjier Outler had six points during the run, but the Hawks held him to only two points the rest of the way.
The Hawks (7-12) cut the lead to 16-11 after the first period, but the Warriors came out strong in the second period.
Sherando (12-7) used a 12-4 run to build a 28-15 lead with 3:36 left in the first half. Sherando’s Noah Ford had six points during the spurt, which gave the Warriors their biggest lead of the night.
“I think we were able to get some shots early and get a little lead,” Sherando coach Garland Williams said. “We knew that they would be coming back with the shooters, and that’s what they did.”
A driving layup by Skyline’s TrayQuan Diamond and back-to-back 3-pointers from Ryan Scott and Colin Smith helped cut the lead to 30-23 at the half.
Diamond scored to start the second half and cut the lead to five, but Sherando responded with a run of its own. The Warriors finished a sluggish third period with an 11-4 run to take a 41-29 lead into the final eight minutes of play. Alex Morefield had five points during the run for the Warriors.
The Hawks cut the lead to four points twice early in the fourth period. Smith and Evan Lester hit back-to-back 3-pointers during one run. During the second Skyline run of the fourth period, Lester hit a 3-pointer and Antwan Swain scored inside to cut the lead to 46-42 with 3:15 left.
“I was proud of our guys. They played hard and played until the end,” Monroe said. “They never quit, and they kept fighting.”
Sherando answered with a basket by Isaiah Armistead and back-to-back baskets by Jared Miller to extend the lead to 50-42 with 2:48 left.
“Jared did a good job for us there,” Williams said. “We were able to get him loose a couple times on some fast break opportunities. Then he drove the baseline and hit a couple nice little jumpers for us to extend the lead, and help us to stay out in front.”
Swain and Miller exchanged baskets, and then Swain hit a 3-pointer to cut the lead to 52-47 with 1:31 left, but that was as close as Skyline would get.
Monroe said he was happy with how the Hawks defended Outler, after the first period, but other players made the difference down the stretch for Sherando.
“A couple of those other guys stepped up, and that’s the sign of a good team,” Monroe said. “When you can get some players to step up for you — that’s big.”
The Hawks were led by Swain with 12 points and eight rebounds, and Smith with 12 points.
Monroe said his young team just needs to find a way to win some close games.
“We just have to keep on working, keep on getting better,” Monroe said. “We got to get over the hump. That’s what I told the guys, ‘we’re right there, but we got to get over that hump.'”
Miller led the Warriors with 14 points, while Armistead had 13 points and four rebounds. Morefield had 12 points and eight rebounds for Sherando.
Williams said he was happy how his team is playing heading into the final stretch of the regular season.
“You always aim for that perfect game, but we had our mistakes. But all in all, I think for the most part in crunch time we handled the ball like we should have,” Williams said. “We need to be better, and we’ll continue to work on that.”
Contact staff writer Tommy Keeler at 540-465-5137 ext. 168, or firstname.lastname@example.org