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Wilson Memorial holds off Stonewall’s boys

QUICKSBURG — Wilson Memorial High School boys’ basketball coach, Scott Crist, had seen this “movie” before.

With his team ahead of Shenandoah District competitor Stonewall Jackson at the Green Hornets’ home, Wilson Memorial led Stonewall Jackson by 13 at the half, only to lose 61-58 on Dec. 22.

And yet, even when Crist saw his team gain a 22-point advantage only to hold on Tuesday night here 83-74, he said he was uncomfortable until the game was through.

The Hornet victory gives the teams a split in Shenandoah District play this year, with each squad losing at home.

So, when the Hornets (6-5 Shenandoah, 7-12) were ahead by “three touchdowns-worth of points” Crist said he told his team to continue to play.

“I had seen this before,” said Crist. “At our place, we led by 13. There was no time tonight that I was relaxed about what we were doing. Stonewall Jackson is a good team with several good shooters. (Nick Dotson) is difficult to defend and so are some others.”

Dotson, who has scored as many as 20 points in a game this season, collected 26 points, while teammate Dylan Davis added 21, but the Generals (3-7, 7-9) could get no closer than nine points.

The Hornets put five players in double figures led by sharpshooting guard Chance Church (20 points, four 3-pointers), Jacob Sears (15 points, 4-of-4 at the foul line), freshman Matt Poole (14 points, three 3’s), Ryan Pierce (13) and Greg Woodard (11, 4 rebounds).

“We came out flat and fell way behind. That’s tough coming back from 22 points, but I thought we played better as the game wore on-particularly the last three quarters — when we were matching them bucket,” said Stonewall Jackson coach Mike Lenox. “We remembered we were way down at Wilson Memorial and came back, so we were thinking of that.”

The visitors outscored their hosts out of the gate, 17-2, to lead 19-2 on the strength of four 3-point shots.

Trailing 34-13 early in the second quarter, the Generals used a bucket by Dotson and two free throws by the junior to pull within 17.

A shot by Brendan Hoover pulled the Generals within 37-22 with 3:33 left in the half. A Davis layup at the 1:48 mark of the first half made it 41-28, which is the spread on which the first half ended.

Wilson Memorial started clicking after a layup by Davis and two free throws by Dotson made it a 12-point Stonewall deficit with 5:57 left in the third quarter.

Pierce and Eddie Harris wrapped field goals around two free throws for Church and the Green Hornets were ahead 55-37.

Stonewall Jackson’s Kaelan Sorrells’ steal and coast-to-coast basket made it 57-45 with 10.6 seconds left in the third quarter.

But Pierce claimed two free throws, Woodard made a conventional 3-point play for a 63-45 lead with 5:11 showing in the third quarter.

The Generals shortened their deficit to 65-53 on a free throw by Davis, but Sears answered with two foul shots and a 67-53 lead with 4:11 left in the game.

Stonewall finally got under a double-digit deficit on a basket by Brett Jones (10 points, six rebounds), but the Generals were forced to foul the Hornets who made enough free throws to keep their lead.

The Hornets were 21-of-29 from the line while the Generals finished 12-of-17.

“We weren’t really sure how the officials would call it, so we had to learn,” said Lenox.

Stonewall, which has lost three in a row, has four regular season games left.

Lenox said all the contests are conference matchups; so, the first-year coach who took over a program that won two games last year is looking to host a first-round post-season victory.

“It’s something to play for at this time of the year. You know mid-January comes and now is the push for the playoffs. We want to take advantage of that,” said Lenox.

Contact Jim Laise sports@nvdaily.com