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BOYS' BASKETBALL: Conotton Valley Adds To Central’s Misfortune

January 15, 2012
By RICK THORP - Staff Writer (rthorp@news-register.net) , The Intelligencer / Wheeling News-Register

KIDWELL - These days, Brandon Bailey is the face of Conotton Valley boys' basketball.

And for good reason.

The junior became the school's all-time leading scorer last week.

But as Wheeling Central discovered Saturday the Rockets aren't just a one-man gang.

Zac Lyon poured in a team-high 20 points, including six 3-pointers, as the Bowerston-based squad surged past the Maroon Knights in the Boggs Roundball Classic at Tyler Consolidated High School.

''I only saw them play against St. John,'' Central coach Mel Stephens said. ''I knew Bailey was a good player but No. 24 kind of caught us by surprise.

''I told the kids at halftime he's got to cool off. But he came out and, I think, missed like one shot in the second half.''

Lyon, in fact, missed four shots during the final 16 minutes. But the two he made were both 3s and played a pivotal role in the Rockets' 11th victory of the season against three losses.

''He's shooting in the 40s,'' Conotton Valley coach Mike Fierbaugh said of Lyon's prowess from behind the arc. ''He's got the greenlight if he's open.''

Bailey did his part, finishing with 16 points. Fourteen of those came in the second half.

''Brandon got sick on the way down here and I think he was a bit bus-lagged in the first half,'' Fierbaugh said.

With the score tied at 36-36 midway through the third quarter, Bailey tipped in a miss to make the score 38-36. That started a 14-2 run for the Rockets that stretched into the early portion of the fourth quarter.

Conotton Valley started the final period with seven straight points to up the lead to 48-38.

Following a Central time out, a Bailey layup made the score 50-38.

Braxton Nolte, who finished with a game-high 32 points, nailed a jumper that trimmed the lead to 55-46. But the Rockets, who were in the bonus midway through the third, converted six of 10 free throws down the stretch to ice the game.

''Every win is big as far as the OVACs are concerned,'' Fierbaugh said. ''We're right in the mix in finishing in the top four (of Class A). If we lose any games, that lessens our chances of getting in the tournament. So, from that standpoint, it's big.''

Keaton Carrothers added 14 points for the Rockets.

The Maroon Knights (1-9) lead by as many as six points in the third quarter, but struggled late.

''Even though we lost, I thought the effort was there,'' Stephens said. ''So, hopefully, we can build on that.

''I thought we did a good job on the defensive boards in the first half.

''The kids are playing hard and that's all we can ask.''

 
 

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