Gallery by Tina Laney
Beckley – Sitting on the bench for the final seven minutes of the first half with three fouls, Shady Spring all-stater Braden Chapman had plenty of time to contemplate what he’d do when he returned to the court in the second half.
He made the most of his opportunities.
With his team leading by four points at the half, Chapman scored 13 points in the third quarter, staking Shady to a 57-41 advantage and eventually a 73-48 win over Class AAAA Princeton Tuesday at the New River CTC Invitational at the Beckley-Raleigh County Convention Center.
Chapman was key for the host Tigers on the scoreboard in the first quarter, scoring seven of their 20 points but his presence on both sides of the ball was missed in the second. It presented an opportunity for Shady’s role players to step in and step up.
“I told them that maybe the rest of the team would want to join Cole (Chapman), Cam (Manns) and Jaedan (Holstein) in the second half,” Shady head coach Ronnie Olson said. “I would hope they’d want to join their teammates in the party because they refused to be seen in the first half. We basically played with two starters in the first half because Ammar (Maxwell) was nonexistent in the first half and then he came to play in the second half. And then obviously Braden’s statline and what he did on both sides of the floor speaks for itself.
“I just said ‘C’mon guys, are you ready to come play now?’ They stepped up and I hate to be cliche but that’s why you play two halves. The role players in the first half building us a lead. Sam (Jordan), Cole, Gavin (Davis) and Jack (Williams) came in and gave us good minutes. I was proud of those role players.”
Chapman’s assault on Princeton started when the visiting Tigers threatened to take the lead early in the third quarter after a Kris Joyce 3 made it a 35-34 game. Chapman answered with back-to-back 3s and Holstein scored on a breakaway layup to comprise an 8-0 Shady run. Nik Fleming stemmed the tide with a layup on the other end but a pair of Maxwell buckets and Braden Chapman free throws keyed another 8-0 run.
Princeton cut the deficit back to 10 after trailing by as many as 15 but a 3 from Williams and another from Braden Chapman to beat the buzzer pushed the advantage to 16.
“Braden Chapman,” Princeton head coach Robb Williams said. “We didn’t contain him and I don’t know if we could but I mean he was a problem obviously and he made the difference tonight. We had a very good first half and the second half, third quarter he was unbelievable and we really quit running our offense. We didn’t run any offensive sets. We’d call a play and they wouldn’t run it or if they’d run it they’d halfway run it. We didn’t shoot well.”
The second half drudge came on the heels of a promising first half for the Tigers from Mercer County. After jumping out to a 5-0 lead on the strength of a 3 from Chase Hancock and a layup from Kris Joyce, Princeton weathered a 9-0 Shady run to take the lead again at 12-9 on a Hancock layup.
The game was tied four more times at 12, 14, 17 and 20.
Manns did the honors of breaking the final tie for Shady with a 5-0 run the included a 3 and a pair of free throws. His seven points in the second quarter kept Princeton at bay while Braden Chapman waited on the sideline for the third-quarter surge that ultimately made the difference.
In the decisive frame, Princeton shot 4 of 15 from the field and yielded four steals to Shady’s relentless defense.
“We wore on them,” Olson said. “I knew eventually they’d wear down. We got in the passing lanes and made it hard for them to run their defense and when you’ve got five guys that can play on the floor, I mean we played without some but Braden’s our catalyst up top so when we play with those guys we turn the pace on offense and you saw it. That kind of jumped the game right there. I felt like we could get what we wanted on the offensive side in the first half and we did and we turned it on on the defensive side and that was the ballgame.”
Chapman led all scorers with 22 points on 8 of 13 shooting while adding four steals. His brother Cole finished with 12 points and 10 rebounds while Manns added 13 points and nine rebounds. Fleming led Princeton with 18 points in the loss while Joyce scored 13.
Shady will play Class A No. 1 James Monroe on Friday at 8:30 in the New River CTC Invitational while Princeton will face Capital on Saturday.
Email: firstname.lastname@example.org and follow on Twitter @tjack94