Local Sports, Sports, University

Hawks out-sized, out-paced in loss to Jefferson

MORGANTOWN – In the night cap of the Little General Holiday Classic hosted by Morgantown High School, the University Hawks fell 82-68 to the Class AAAA fourth-ranked Jefferson Cougars.

Jefferson (2-0) used a mix of size and speed to stretch a 12-point halftime lead to as many as 20 in the second half. Will Shively scored 18 points, including five triples in the first half, to help the Cougars stay in front of UHS (3-2) the entire game after a close start.

Midway through the opening quarter, in fact, the game was tied at 11 with both teams shooting well to start. Both the Hawks and Cougars had hit three shots from deep and seemed ready for a shootout. But offensive rebounding and a well-executed press on defense by JHS allowed them to control the tempo of the game.

“We preached to the kids the last two or three days that you can’t get into a track meet with Jefferson,” UHS head coach Joe Schmidle said after the game. “We are quick but we aren’t as quick as they are. We gave them a lot of opportunities to get rebounds as well, particularly on the offensive side.”

Despite the 13-point deficit at halftime, UHS was within single digits with just 2:34 to play in the second quarter, 37-29. But a few steals and quick buckets for the Cougars swelled the lead just before the break, taking the air out from under the Hawks at a crucial moment of the game.

“We quit doing what we were supposed to do,” Schmidle said. “When we are good we are really good, but when we struggle we really struggle and we are going to have to learn to navigate those ups and downs.”

Friday’s response to the lows wasn’t a positive one for UHS, as through the first four minutes of the third, the Hawks had only managed four points and trailed by 18.

A small flurry of offense in the final few minutes cut into the lead, but it was too little, too late for UHS as the Cougars took the game 82-68.

Jaiden Gladney joined his teammate Shively with 18 points, while Kylan Johnson added 14. JHS made 12 three-point shots as a team.

James Fortney-Garbert paced UHS with 18 as well, including a perfect 6-for-6 from the foul line. Carson Ford and John Coleman were also in double figures with 14 and 11, respectively.

Both teams will return to the Rowdie Center at MHS today afternoon for the second of two days of the Little General Holiday Classic.

JHS will play the hosts, Morgantown, at 1:15 p.m. UHS will play Class AAA no. 1-ranked Shady Spring at 3:00 p.m.

Jefferson 82, University 68

JHS 23 23 17 19 – 82

UHS 17 16 12 23 – 68

JHS – Gladney 13 2-3 18; Johnson 6 6-7 14; Fritts 1 1-2 1; Jenkins 11 2-2 12; Wy. Shively 3 2-2 4; Roper 4 0-0 6; Vickers 5 0-0 4; Wi. Shively 11 1-2 18; Gore 0 2-2 2; Wallace 2 0-0 3

UHS – Coleman 9 1-2 11; Nemecek 6 2-3 8; Fortney-Garbert 11 6-6 18; Bandy 2 3-4 5; Ford 9 0-0 14; Farrell 4 0-0 5; Thomas 4 3-3 7

Three-point FGs – JHS 12 (Wi. Shively 5, Gladney 2, Johnson 2, Jenkins 2, Wallace 1); UHS 5 (Fortney-Garbert 2, Ford 2, Farrell 1).

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