REBELS COME UP SHORT AGAINST WILLIAMSTOWN IN REGION CHAMPIONSHIP
FT. GAY, WVA — Williamstown ( 19-6 ) used a 24-11 spurt over the last eight minutes and four seconds of the game to advance to the Class A State Tournament with a 64-59 victory over Tolsia ( 16-8 ) Thursday night in front of a packed house in the Region 4 Co Final at Rebel Arena.
The Yellow Jackets jumped all over the Rebels out of the gate with a 8-1 out burst all from Cullen Cutright before Tolsia regained the momentum with a 14-2 run to make it 15-10 causing a Williamstown time out as the Rebel Arena crowd was going berserk. Williamstown finished the first period on a 6-2 run and trailed 17-16 after one.
In the second quarter either team had much separation as both teams scored 11 points as the Yellow Jackets held the ball for the final minute and 30 seconds before missing a last second shot with the score 28-27 at Halftime.
Tolsia started the third quarter with a bang behind Austin Salmons and Rob Cantrell who had 8 and 6 points respectively including 4 three pointers as the Rebels led 48-40 with just over a minute left in the period with the ball and running clock as the period was ending Jesse Muncy started to drive and slipped Williamstown picked up the loose ball and Boston Caruthers hit a long three pointer to make it 48-43 Tolsia at the end of three.
The Yellow Jackets scored off of another Rebel turnover to start the 4th and it was game on for the two evenly balanced teams. Williamstown took a 55-52 lead on a long three pointer from Trent Lynch before Gavin Meadows got a shooter bounce to tie it up at 55 apiece with three minutes left. Tolsia was called for an offensive foul that wiped out a Muncy basket with 2:27 to go. The Yellow Jackets went 7-8 from the foul line and Tolsia went 2-6 in the final stanza for the difference in the ballgame.
The Rebels placed four in double figures led by Rob Cantrell with 15 points including 4 three pointers, Austin Salmons and Gavin Meadows finished with 14 points each, Senior Jacob Mollette who played his final game as a Rebel tallied 12 points, Jesse Muncy and Zack Ball had 2 points each.
Tolsia hit 8 three pointers and went 9-14 from the charity stripe.
Williamstown was led by Cullen Cutright and Eli Inman with 18 points each, Boston Caruthers 10 points, Xavier Caruthers 9 points, Trent Lynch 6 points and Baylor Haught 3 points.
The Yellow Jackets hit 8 three pointers and went 12-15 from the line.
Williamstown will be the #7 seed in the Class A State Tournament and will face #2 seed Wheeling Central at 1:00 next Wednesday afternoon in Charleston.
Tolsia Head Coach Todd Maynard
“… We knew that our size was going to be a challenge for us whether we were in man or zone (defense). Cutright is big ol’ dude standing out there at 6-foot-5 especially when our biggest stands 6-foot-1. We stood straight up, got a hand in his face and hoped he would miss. I thought we did a decent job on him after the first few minutes.”
“… So proud of our kids it has been and unbelievable year after only winning six games last year. They are so resilient and bounced back after trailing 8-1 early on. Rob Cantrell, Austin Salmons and Gavin Meadows were great tonight. We are going to miss Jacob Mollette he had a great year and is our captain. Unreal teammate, he is one of a kind.”
“… It hurts right now but let’s give it a couple days and we will reflect and see how we all became better men and how much fun we had this year. Lifelong family! Love them all.”