Seniors lift A-B past Glenville 82-69
CHARLESTON, W.Va. -- A late-game surge lifted third-seeded Alderson-Broaddus to a hard-fought 82-69 victory over Glenville State in Thursday's West Virginia Conference men's quarterfinals at the Charleston Civic Center.
A-B trailed 56-55 with 8:11 left in the contest, but the Battlers reeled off 13 straight points in the next 3 minutes and took control.
Senior guard Casey Ainslie triggered the surge when he scored on a baseline drive, was fouled and converted the free throw. Glenville, which had shown good offensive discipline up to then, started hoisting up poor shots and missing them badly.
A-B converted five straight Pioneer misses into 10 more unanswered points. The Battlers' Bilal Ali canned a 3-pointer from the right wing to give A-B a 68-56 advantage with 5:03 remaining, and Glenville got no closer than seven points after that.
"Give our seniors credit," Battlers head coach Greg Zimmerman said after the game. "Down the stretch, Roy [Brown], Kurklin [Bohanon] and Casey all made big plays for us. We didn't turn it over, and we made some shots - had a couple of 3s out there and got to the basket."
Despite a slow start, Bohanon, the Battlers' all-conference guard, ended up the game's high scorer with 29 points - a performance that drew Zimmerman's praise.
"[Bohanon] struggled for about 30 minutes, but the last 10 minutes he was the old Duke we know," Zimmerman said. "[He] made big shots, got big rebounds, got steals, got in the open floor and hit some big 3s. That's what your all-conference guys are supposed to do."
Ainslie added 15 points for the Battlers, who improved to 20-8. Roy Brown and Adam Kline were A-B's other double-figure scorers with 12 apiece.
Zimmerman said senior leadership made the difference late in the game. A-B had three seniors on the floor - Ainslie, Bohanon and Brown - while Glenville had none.
"[Glenville is] very athletic," Zimmerman said. "We've had three tough games with them. [Glenville coach Stephen Dye] has a really nice bunch of kids coming. They're going to be really good in [the Mountain East] conference the next couple of years."
Dye, who played four years under Zimmerman at A-B, said the Battlers' rebounding made the difference. "They just killed us on the boards, just like they did the previous three games," he said. "The first game, at their place, they dominated 40-24, and this game it was 43-28."
Dye credited his team for being competitive, but said its lack of experience showed.
"We don't have any seniors. We didn't have any guys who have played in big games like this," he said.
"I can't wait to have a senior to lead us in the right direction. [Next year] we'll have everyone coming back. Our guys have really bought into the system, they've listened, and I think we can make a run at [the conference championship] next year. I think the future is very bright."
Junior forward Lamar Mallory's 18 points led the Pioneers, followed by Jamel Morris and Kevin Gray with 12 each and J.J. Vasquez with 11. Glenville, the tournament's 11th seed, finished the season 13-16.
Alderson-Broaddus will take on second-seeded Fairmont State in the semifinals at 6:30 tonight.
Reach John McCoy at 304-348-1231 or email@example.com.