Gallery by Karen Akers
Trips into the Tigers’ den have not turned out well for the opponents of the Shady Spring boys basketball teams.
Thursday night, sectional rival PikeView took its turn on the home floor of the defending Class AAA state champions.
The contest did not end well for the Panthers either.
Leading by 18 at the break, Shady Spring ran roughshod over the Panthers, outscoring them 24-2 in the third quarter to cruise to an 80-42 win.
Even though his team walked away with a dominant win, Shady Spring head coach Ronnie Olson was a bit frustrated with the first 12 minutes of the game.
“In the overall picture, the end result was pretty good. I didn’t like the start. I felt like we weren’t communicating,” Olson said. “We were running up and down the floor hard, but we seemed to be playing with no purpose. I am not sure how you can go through the motions and go as fast as we did. Our tempo never changes, but I don’t think we did anything with a purpose early.”
Shady ran out to a 10-2 lead with some aggressive defense before the Panthers fought back. When PikeView trimmed the lead to four points with 2:07 to play in the first period, Olson looked to the bench for some energy.
He got what he was looking for in sophomore Gavin Davis and freshman Khi Olson.
Davis sparked a 7-0 run to close the opening quarter and when the younger Olson drained a 3-ball with just under six minutes until halftime, the Tigers led by 15.
“Gavin gave us some really good minutes where Sam (Jordan) was down for the first half. That is what Gavin does, he is all over the place,” Olson said. “There is not a loose ball or rebound that he is not going to get. He helped energize us. Khi came in a hit a big shot for us. They were playing zone and we knew we were going to have to hit those shots. Offensively we looked good.”
Just when Shady appeared to be finding its groove and possibly separating the game, Kameron Lawson and Nathan Riffe hit back-to-back 3’s for PikeView.
“I felt like in that stretch when we were pressing that there were some bounces that didn’t go our way that maybe should have been steals. PikeView was able to get to them and get layups. There were some funky bounces on those traps,” Olson explained. “The only thing that really bothered me was when they drove us straight-line and kicked it for 3’s. That is something we pride ourselves on, not getting beat off the dribble like that.”
Two buckets by Ammar Maxwell and one by Davis restored the 15-point lead. Cameron Manns then beat the halftime horn with a triple to give Shady a 42-24 lead.
“A big part of our team on the defensive end is communicating because we switch so many defenses. We are out of position some because we are trapping and running,” Olson said. “Our defense helps us get into what we want to do and we couldn’t do that. We talked about communication at halftime and I thought we did a lot better job in the second half.”
A 3-point play by Jaedan Holstein and a corner 3 from Maxwell ignited the Tigers offensively to start the second half.
A basket from Jared Vestal momentarily stopped the run, but it was the last PikeView points of the quarter.
The Tigers scored the next 20 points in a row to put the game out of reach.
Holstein led the Tigers with a double-double including 17 points, while Manns added 14. Maxwell finished with 13 and Braden Chapman scored 12. Cole Chapman had nine and Davis chipped in six points.
Dylan Blake led PikeView with 14. Vestal scored eight and Kameron Lawson scored seven.
Shady Spring travels to Parkersburg Saturday and is scheduled to travel to Lincoln Monday, weather permitting.
Next week however is the big week in the eyes of Tiger fans. Shady Spring will host Class AAA No. 1 ranked Logan Tuesday and Class A No. 2 Greater Beckley Christian Thursday.
“We didn’t overlook PikeView because we prepared for PikeView, but the kids are excited for next week. We definitely can’t go in Saturday like that against Parkersburg because we know they are really good,” Olson said. “We have a game Saturday and Monday, so we try not to talk about it, but the elephant is in the room and you can’t get it out. We are excited for next week.”
PV: 12 12 2 16 – 42
SS: 23 19 24 14 – 80
Jared Vestal 8, Kameron Lawson 7, Nathan Riffe 3, Dylan Blake 14, Peyton Greer 2, Zach Rose 2, Brett Samosky 2, David Thomas 4. Totals: 15 10-17 42.
Shady Spring 80
Braden Chapman 12, Cole Chapman 9, Jaedan Holstein 17, Cameron Manns 14, Ammar Maxwell 13, Gavin Davis 6, Khi Olson 3, Jalen Bailey 3, Ty Austin 3. Totals: 31 6-7 80.
3-pointers – PV: 2 (Lawson, Riffe); SS 12 (B. Chapman 2, C. Chapman 2, Manns 2, Maxwell 3, Olson, Bailey, Austin).