Triadelphia Captures PAC-8 Crown
Raiders use zone defense as catalyst
WHEELING — This season has been a journey of development and growth for the Triadelphia 8th grade basketball team, but Thursday night it was rewarded for its progress.
The Raiders came into The Palace at Wheeling Park and claimed the PAC-8 Championship with a 41-26 victory over Warwood.
Triadelphia head coach Ron Gill made some adjustments before tip-off and they paid off in the end as he watched his team hoist the trophy.
“We’ve had our ups and downs all year,” Gill said. “We just put it all together (Thursday). We have not played well on the road so that worried me a little but we put a little defensive rinkle in that packed the zone in and made them shoot from the outside.
“That seemed to destroy their passing lanes and threw them off a little bit. Our press worked too but mainly our kids handled the pressure.
“That’s a great team that we beat, they just had an off night.”
The defensive adjustment could be seen early on as the Raiders jumped out to an 11-0 start and led 23-5 at halftime.
Triadelphia’s Jayden Howard netted all eight of his points in the first half to lead the squad.
“We just had a bad first half,” Warwood coach Mickey Eicholtz said. “Triadelphia is a very good team and we knew it would be tough. They played a very good first half and we didn’t. That’s what beat us.”
The Vikings showed no quit in the second half as they reeled off a 10-0 run to trim the lead to 23-15 and 25-16 at the end of the third.
Bobby Yocke tallied all six of his points in the third quarter to lead Warwood.
“We have good heart,” Eicholtz said. “I am very proud of them and the season that we had.
“We came back in the second half and played really tough. We had a great season with good kids.”
The Vikings continued to try to put a dent in the lead in the fourth but Izaiah Howard could not be stopped down the stretch, as he recorded seven of his game-high 16 points in the final frame to help the Raiders capture the title.
“I knew the storm was coming in the second half because they are too good,” Gill said. “But the start was the key to the game.”
Jayvon Miller paced the Vikings with nine points and Caleb Ratcliffe added six.
Jacob Stewart turned in six points in the win for Triadelphia.
Despite the loss, Warwood shot 11-for-13 from the free-throw line, while Triadelphia was 6 of 16 from the stripe.
Warwood 53, Triadelphia 40
WHEELING — Warwood started the game on a 16-2 run and never looked back as it went on to defeat Triadelphia in the PAC-8 title game.
Cole Wilkinson led the Vikings with a game-high 15 points, while Brett Phillips turned in 13 and Jacob Huffman added 11.
The Raiders kicked off the second half by burying four 3-pointers to trim the lead to just eight but it wasn’t enough to complete the comeback.
Xander Gibson led Triadelphia with 13 points and Jonah Nizami provided 12.
Warwood 49, Moundsville 24
WHEELING — Warwood’s Layton Toepher garnered 20 points and Payton Toepher added 14 as the Vikings went on to claim the PAC-8 championship.