Patriots rout Colonels 102-71
Posted: December 13, 2012
Special to The Winchester Star
WINCHESTER — One night after reaching the century mark, the James Wood boys’ basketball game was involved in another game where one team scored at least 100 points.
Unfortunately for the Colonels, they were on the receiving end of a lopsided affair against possibly the most athletic team they will see all season.
With a starting lineup that soared for rebounds, sprinted down the floor to score, and generally had fans getting neck spasms just looking up at the scoreboard every few seconds, Washington (W.Va.) whipped up on James Wood to post a 102-71 win in Donald H. Shirley Gymnasium on Wednesday night.
Coming off a 100-72 beatdown of Fauquier on Tuesday, the Colonels again looked to push the pace at every turn, trying to trap for steals and getting down the floor to either try and pound the basket fast for easy layups or swing out and shoot 3-pointers. James Wood soon found out that Washington could handle that pace, and then some.
The Patriots (3-0) had a 29-20 lead at the end of the first period, 52-40 at the half, and had the game sealed away after a 29-point third period had them ahead 81-54 with eight minutes to play.
The only thing left was seeing if Washington, which also pounded Handley by 26 at home on Saturday, could get to 100. The Patriots reached the mark with junior reserve Keldon Bell’s basket off a dump down with 2:53 left to play, to the loud approval of the Washington crowd.
“We’re pretty athletic and we’ve got some kids that can move too,” Washington coach Don Bullett said in what might possibly be the understatement of the season. “We know that we can control the boards, and when you control the boards you can take 3s or have an opportunity to get out and run.”
Just how active were the Patriots? They finished up with 70 rebounds, with half coming off the offensive glass. Washington would finish the game with a plus-36 in rebounding and in the first half alone, junior jumping jack Kendell Smith had 17 rebounds, one less than the entire James Wood squad had over the first 16 minutes.
Smith would finish the game with an astounding 27 rebounds, and fellow junior Jerome Jones added 12. Washington had five players with at least five rebounds.
“They’re a very good team and very athletic,” James Wood coach Al Smith said. “We just had a hard time matching up with them on the boards, really. We tried to get position, but they would jump right over us. That’s just how athletic they were. I think they had 35 offensive rebounds, and they handled the ball well. We didn’t turn them over like we needed to, and they shot the ball well.
“You’ve got a guy coming full-sprint down the floor and able to pull up and knock down a 12-footer, that’s pretty good.”
The Patriots actually had trouble making shots in the first few minutes, missing their first seven from the field until junior point guard Dominique Newman scored off a drive with 6:22 left for Washington’s first points.
Back-to-back 3-pointers from Michael Carter and Ryland Williams had James Wood holding an 11-7 lead with 4:21 left in the first quarter, but Washington got a little more consistent scoring around the basket from there and sent the Colonels into a tailspin in the process.
The Patriots closed the first period on a 17-5 run to lead by nine and kept at least a six-point lead throughout the second period to head to the half up by 12.
If how they played in the first half (59 shots from the field) was impressive, the Patriots left no doubt of their purpose to win going away with another dominant performance once the third period began.
It was also a good time for junior forward Maleke Jones to demonstrate his skills. Held without a point in the first half, Jones scored seven in a 12-3 run by the Patriots to begin the third quarter. Later in the quarter, an 11-0 run had the Patriots turning the game into a rout. Smith, who scored seven points in the period, capped the run with a stickback at the 2:14 mark to make it 77-50.
With Jones scoring 11 of his 15 points in the third, Washington had its second 29-point period (it made 13 of 19 shots) and its total rested at 81 points after 24 minutes.
“Our last few games in the third quarter, we’ve really been able to pick it up,” said Bullett, whose team has also picked up early-season wins over Sherando and Handley. “Against Sherando, we were down by four at their place and we came out in the third quarter and scored 26 points. We’ve been able to get in that transition in the third quarter and get into a better flow and showing the way we are capable of playing.”
Even with their subs in the last few minutes, the Patriots (42 of 100 from the field) still continued to get plenty of shots. Still, all but one starter reached double-digit scoring, and the one that didn’t scored nine.
Pacing the attack besides Smith (18 points) were Newman (18 points, seven assists), Jones (15 points, four assists), and senior forward Christian Coles (game-high 22 points, seven rebounds).
“This early, to be playing the way we are playing, is great,” Bullett said. “You know, we’re putting some points on the board. It’s been good.”
Despite seeing the game get away from them in the second half, the Colonels (3-2) kept up a good fight. James Wood again shot lots of 3-pointers (11 of 46) and continued to play at their pace.
The biggest sparks came from a pair of junior guards — Cam Butler scored 12 points and dished a team-best five assists and Williams scored 16 points, getting to the basket several times with nice moves off the dribble.
Even though his team scored a season-low in points, Smith took some positives from the loss.
“One, our kids didn’t quit,” Smith said. “They kept fighting and playing hard and got on the floor hustling for loose balls, all up through the rest of the game. That’s what I like to see, because what that means to me — it doesn’t matter what the score is — the guys are going to keep playing. That’s good for us.
“The other thing is it showed us what some of our weaknesses are. Now I can see that we can start working on those. I just told the kids, the ‘L’ stands for learning. We’re going to learn from what we didn’t do particularly well and go from there.”
James Wood also received nine points apiece from Nick Goode and Peyton Crickman. Butler and Brett Lewin shared team honors with five rebounds apiece.