MORGANTOWN — University’s Kaden Metheny is one of the deadliest 3-point shooters in Class AAA boys’ basketball, but there’s one thing he enjoys more than scoring the ball.
“I love getting assists. I like getting assists more than scoring,” the junior point guard said. “When the team is focused on me and I got to play open, I’m going to hit them. So I trust my teammates that they’re going to make a shot, and when you have that trust, it helps a lot.”
Metheny showed his knack for sharing the ball as he tallied 11 assists Wednesday night as the No. 4 University downed visiting Parkersburg South 89-76.
The Hawks notched 25 assists as a team in the win.
“I thought we shared the ball better tonight than we have in a long time, which is probably why we scored 74 points in the first three quarters,” University coach Joe Schmidle said. “I thought the kids moved the ball better on offense and they were a lot more disciplined and selective with their shots. Anytime you have a team like Parkersburg South down like that after three quarters, you must be doing something right.”
Metheny, who added 23 points to complete a double-double, said he felt more confident after the game than he has all year about the team’s ability to play as a unit.
“I definitely felt like that was the best game of the year so far. We came out intense and we shared the ball well,” he said. “Once all five of us get going, we’re pretty tough to beat. It can’t be a two-man show like everyone says it is — we have to get everyone involved and play as a team.”
The first half proved the deciding factor in the contest, as the Hawks came out fast, tallying 14 assists and forcing 10 South turnovers.
The Patriots managed to keep things close through the first period, trailing by just eight, but junior KJ McClurg sparked the Hawks, scoring double-digits (13) in second quarter as the Hawks piled on 32 points to extend the lead to 54-32 at the break.
“They were bigger than we were as a whole, but they didn’t play bigger than our kids. We played fast, and they didn’t have an answer for us,” Schmidle said. “I don’t know if it was sitting on the bus ride here or what, but it didn’t seem like they were quite ready to play.”
McClurg led all scorers with 30 points, while senior Rodney Bucklew also tallied double digits (15) and paced the team in rebounds (6). Metheny also added five steals and three rebounds to his stat line.
Brayden Mooney led South with 24 points and six rebounds, while Alex Wooland also tallied six boards.