WILLIAMSON, W.Va. - Hurricane coach Lance Sutherland admits it was "one of those unknowns'' playing Greater Beckley Christian in the Hatfield-McCoy Shootout Saturday.Turns out that what the Redskins didn't know almost hurt them.Trey Dawson tossed in 25 points and Henry Sorsaia had 21 points and 14 rebounds as Hurricane held off the previously unbeaten Class A Crusaders 69-60 during the all-day hoopfest at the Williamson Field House.Greater Beckley (7-1), the No. 2 team in Class A, trailed by as many as 13 points in the first half, but rallied to take the lead twice in the final period before the Redskins retaliated.
Dawson scored 10 of his points in the fourth quarter, including a 6-of-6 effort at the foul line in the final 51 seconds."Going into it, it was one of those unknowns,'' Sutherland said. "We didn't know what to expect. Our kids knew that. They're a real good basketball team with real good players.''The Crusaders leaned on a pair of all-state-potential players in Elisha Kidd (23 points) and guard Javonne Staunton-Bailey (20 points, nine rebounds). Their individual skills prevented Hurricane (8-2) from employing a man-to-man defense."We couldn't guard them man-to-man,'' Sutherland said, "so we had to go back to the 2-3 zone, and that worked well until we started sinking off them too much and they started sinking those 3s in the third quarter."We've got to learn that basketball games are 32 minutes and not 26. When we do that, we'll be OK.''Sorsaia did most of his damage in the first half and had racked up a double-double by halftime (12 points, 11 rebounds). Dawson, meanwhile, hit three straight 3s at one stage and made all but two of his 10 shots overall."Henry is very physical,'' Dawson said, "and not a lot of people can guard him very well. When he gets physical, he's tough to guard.''Dawson felt like the Redskins did enough to win in the final four minutes after Greater Beckley surged in front 54-53 and 56-55. Included in that was hitting 10 of 13 free throws in the final 3:55."It's good to make our free throws,'' he said with a smile. "That hasn't been one of our strong suits. We just want guys to move the ball around, play defense - the little stuff.''The teams were about equal off the boards (Hurricane led 35-32) and with turnovers (GBC had 15 and the Redskins 14).Crusaders coach Dan Burd said he was able to find out different things about his players by watching them tackle a solid Class AAA team.
"That's why we try to schedule these kinds of games,'' Burd said, "to find out where we're at."I'm not real displeased, but I'm not pleased either. If we had played a better first half, we'd have had a chance to win that game. We dug a hole. We made some big plays and made them come back. They made some big plays and some big shots when they needed to.''Garrett DeFries added 11 points for Hurricane and J.T. Rogoszewski came off the bench to grab eight rebounds, some of them crucial plays down the stretch.A fast-break goal by DeFries with 2:08 left to play put Hurricane in front for good at 60-58.Reach Rick Ryan at 304-348-5175 or email@example.com.