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George Washington’s Brendan Hoffman (11) tries to drive around Greater Beckley Christian’s Kaden Smallwood.

Class AAAA No. 3 George Washington’s boys team has been relatively consistent this year.

The Patriots started off the season with five straight wins before dropping two in a row to Huntington and a solid Class A No. 1 Greater Beckley Christian team on Thursday.

Of course, standout junior Ben Nicol is a big part of GW’s lineup as he scored 33 points against GBC, but another junior is a model of consistency and poise under pressure this season.

Junior Brendan Hoffman has been a key part of GW’s 5-2 record and he kept the Patriots in their game late against the Crusaders.

Hoffman drained nine field goals and was 3 of 5 from the foul line for 24 points, but eight of those points came when it mattered most — late in the game with George Washington trailing.

The Patriots had a rough start to the fourth quarter as Greater Beckley Christian got two steals in a row and went on a 4-0 run to take a 66-60 lead. The Crusaders later jumped out to their largest lead of the night, 75-67, with 3:15 left in the game and George Washington had its back against the wall.

However, Nicol hit a 3-pointer with 1:16 left in and put George Washington within three as Greater Beckley Christian’s lead was 75-72. After GBC’s Kaden Smallwood was fouled and hit both his shots, Hoffman hit a 3-pointer to make it 77-75.

Greater Beckley Christian’s Kendrick Wilson was then fouled and hit both of his free throws and it was 79-75, but Hoffman answered again with a 3-pointer to make the score 79-78. George Washington had to foul Wilson again to keep the clock from expiring and Wilson hit one of his two foul shots to make the score 80-78.

Hoffman continued to answer as he was fouled on George Washington’s next possession and he hit two clutch free throws to tie the game at 80 and send it to overtime.

“That’s not coaching, that’s wiring,” George Washington coach Rick Greene said of Hoffman’s free throws. “I’ve seen really good players who can’t ever hit that shot. He’s really great under pressure.”

“I knew we had to find a way to get some buckets,” Hoffman said. “We were down. I was just trying to get it done for my team.”

George Washington lost 88-82, but Greene talked about Hoffman’s consistency and performance.

“He’s a really nice complete player,” Greene said. “He’s learning real fast. He’s been really good. He’s solid. He can guard different people, he’s running the point for us. He hits real big shots. He’s just been a great addition to the program. We’re just happy he’s here.”

Greene also said Hoffman is a good complement to Nicol.

“It’s really good because he sets Ben up and Ben sets him up,” Greene said. “You have a nice big forward and you have a nice point guard.”

Hoffman averages 16 while shooting 33.3% from 3-point range and 67.9% from the free-throw line. He also has 42 rebounds in seven games.

George Washington’s next game is scheduled for 1:30 p.m. Monday at home against Woodrow Wilson.

Rick Farlow covers sports. He can be reached at 304-348-5122 or Follow @FarlowRick on Twitter.