Nineteen games into the season and Capital still struggles at times with consistent play. But when the Cougars are running right, they’re a handful.
Kerion Martin and Karrington Hill each sank 23 points Wednesday evening as Capital posted an 89-76 victory over Princeton during the Little General Shootout at the Big House at West Virginia State’s Walker Convocation Center.
The two teams entered the game tied for ninth in the latest Class AAA state poll.
Capital led 50-33 at halftime and built that advantage as high as 20 points before the Tigers (13-6) started to whittle it back. Princeton got within nine on three occasions in the fourth quarter, but no closer.
“I think where we’re at right now, we’re still a little inconsistent,’’ said Cougars coach Matt Greene, whose team hasn’t won more than three in a row at any point this season. “Our maturity as a team hasn’t got there yet where we need to be to put somebody away when we need to put people away.
“We’re learning. They came out much better in the first half, I felt like, but right now we’re at a point where we haven’t figured out how to put people away yet. We let them hang around when we do get a lead. We’ve had first-half leads before and let people hang around. So disappointed’s the takeaway from the game, but overall happy with our performance.’’
Martin, who missed the team’s first five games after rehabbing a shoulder injury suffered during football season, seems to have a lot more life to his legs in recent games. He drew 10 fouls under the basket against the Tigers and made 14 of 17 free throws.
“He’s getting a lot of that rust off him now,’’ Greene said, “and starting to get into normal basketball condition. He’s more comfortable with the basketball in his hands, and he’s shooting the ball better.
“Obviously, he’s a tough matchup in the paint for anybody, but now he’s able to step out and shoot two or three 3s each game.’’
Martin had a lot of company in the scorebook for Capital (11-8). Hill, who leads the Kanawha Valley in 3-pointers, added three more to his total and knocked down 9 of 16 shots overall. Freshman point guard De’Mahjae Clark added 12 points and three steals and Daimarquis Brooks scored 11 points.
Kcion Welch had four of Capital’s 10 steals and Martin grabbed nine rebounds as the Cougars led 35-29 off the boards.
For Princeton, Ethan Parsons scored 20 points and Jonathan Wellman 17 on 8 of 10 shooting. Peyton Brown added 12 points and Brayden Quesenberry turned in a double-double with 11 points and 10 rebounds. Brown had three steals.
Martin had 18 points and seven rebounds by halftime as Capital took its commanding lead. Clark scored nine of his 12 in the first half.