Coming off of their victory over East Rockingham this past Saturday that snapped their nine-game losing streak, the Alleghany Mountaineers (8-11, 0-7) were able to withstand a Wildcats comeback to pick up their second straight win following a 57-52 victory over the Rockingham County Wildcats (9-11) Wednesday evening.
In the first quarter after falling behind 9-4 early on, the Mountaineers went on a 14-0 scoring run to take a 18-9 lead. Hunter DePriest and Ryan Cole contributed nine of the teams 14 points during that stretch.
Just as the Mountaineers appeared to head into the second period with a nine point lead, Andreas Poindexter knocked down a five-foot buzzer beater to cut the deficit down to seven points for the Wildcats.
The second quarter would provide back and forth scoring from both teams. Just as the Wildcats would make a move, the Mountaineers would answer. In closing minute, Matthew Burkhart knocked down one of his two three-pointers to cut their deficit for the Wildcats down to three points. However, Eli Entsminger moments later would complete a three-point play to give the Mountaineers a six point lead right back.
The Mountaineers led 31-25 at halftime.
The Wildcats would open the third quarter scoring the first four points to cut the lead down to just two points. It was the closest the score had been since it was 11-9 in the first period.
Just as the Wildcats gained steam, Anthony Webb and Chris Harden connected on back to back three-pointers to put the Mountaineers up eight points at 37-29.
The Wildcats would get back within four points thanks to back to back baskets from Poindexter.
Following Poindexter’s back to back baskets, the Mountaineers would regain control of the game by going on a 9-2 scoring run and taking an 11 point lead at 46-35.
With just minutes remaining in the quarter, the Wildcats would close out the quarter scoring six straight points to cut the deficit down to just five points. The quarter came to a close as Burkhart looking to pass the ball to Brandon Mays in the paint, had his pass be deflected by Xavier Moore and unintentionally was deflected into the Wildcats hoop to give them two points.
After Halen Lowman knocked down two free throws to open the final quarter, the Wildcats would use the momentum they had built at the end of the third period by scoring nine straight points all coming from Keaton Owsley, including back to back three-point plays that would give them the lead at 50-48. It was the first time the Wildcats had lead since holding a 9-8 in the first quarter.
Following Owsley’s second three-point play, one of the key turning points of the game occurred. As the Mountaineers inbounded the ball, Mays came up with a steal and then drove to the basket and made contact with H. DePriest. As the whistle blew, the referee signaled for an offensive foul. Had H. DePriest been charged with a blocking foul, Mays could of gone to the free throw line and extended the lead to potentially four points and had all the momentum on the Wildcats side. However, it was H. DePriest who set his feet and got the call.
With under two minutes remaining and trailing by two points, Moore would drain a huge three-pointer to put the Mountaineers back in front 53-52.
Following several missed shots from the Wildcats, Entsminger with under a minute remaining out the Mountaineers up three points following his drive to the hoop where he made a difficult layup while being contacted by the defender.
Leading by three points, the Wildcats would come up short on a pair of three-pointers. With just seconds remaining, Harden would seal the victory by knocking down two free throws.
It was the 13th single digit outcome this season for the Mountaineers.
It was an offensive well balanced game from the Mountaineers. Harden was the only player to reach double figures as he led the team with 10 points. As a team, the scoring was well spaced all-around.
Owsley led the Wildcats with a game-high 18 points, while Burkhart had 12.
The Mountaineers who have now won two straight games (both at Rockbridge High School) have a big Three Rivers District meeting on the road against James River this evening and will host the Covington Cougars tomorrow night in the final ever meeting between the two programs.
Team 1 2 3 4 Ttl
AHS 18 13 15 11 57
RHS 11 14 16 11 52
Mountaineers Scoring: Harden 10, H. DePriest 9, Lowman 9, Entsminger 7, Moore 6, Ryan Cole 6, Via 4, Kole Caldwell 3, Anthony Webb 3
Wildcats Scoring: Owsley 18, Burkhart 12, Mays 8, Poindexter 8, Milo Mulitalo 4, Lincoln Hundley 2