Like a lot of teams in the Mountain State Athletic Conference, when Woodrow Wilson is running at peak performance, it’s wondrous to watch.
Unfortunately for South Charleston, Woodrow had one of those nights on Tuesday.
Ty Walton led four starters in double figures with 19 points as the Flying Eagles, ranked No. 6 in Class AAA, soared to an 88-50 conquest at South Charleston High School.
The victory by Woodrow (13-5) bumped Capital into Saturday’s MSAC championship game against Huntington at the SC Community Center, relegating George Washington to the consolation game. If Woodrow Wilson wins Wednesday at home against Cabell Midland, it plays GW in the consolation game.
The Flying Eagles were at their running, gunning, dishing and even dunking best on Tuesday. They swiped the ball 10 times and forced 19 SC turnovers, seven of them coming in the first quarter as Woodrow took immediate control with a 24-8 lead. SC was also just 2 of 10 shooting in the opening period.
“I thought this has been our best game,’’ said Woodrow coach Ron Kidd, “as far as sharing the ball, seeing the open man and just really playing good team defense.’’
South Charleston (11-7), ranked No. 9 in the state, tried to mount a comeback after its slow start, slicing the lead to 29-20 late in the second quarter and getting a good look at a 3-pointer by reserve Corey Lanier. It didn’t fall, and the margin just kept ballooning for Woodrow.
By the end of the third quarter, it was 25 points and when Kidd removed all his starters with 4:53 left in the game, it was 77-39. SC wound up with its season-low in points, with the previous low coming in an 89-52 setback to Huntington.
“We didn’t have anybody who could put the ball in the basket,’’ said SC coach Vic Herbert. “I thought we got some open shots, but you’ve got to be able to make them. It’s not like we don’t work on shooting, and you’ve got to be able to make open shots.
“It just wasn’t very pretty. It was pretty bad. We’re going to have a coaches meeting tomorrow and talk a little bit and just try to figure out who we want to start the next game — find guys who want to play.’’
SC went 1 of 12 on 3-pointers in the first half and ended 7 of 30 from long range. Overall, the Black Eagles were 18 of 60 shooting for 30 percent.
Senior forward E.J. Phillips, the leading scorer in the MSAC at 26.5 points per game, was held to 12 points on 5 of 13 shooting for the Black Eagles. Woodrow paid full attention to Phillips in its half-court defense, double-teaming him every time he got the ball and tried to spin to the basket.
“We tried to have a guy in the help position,’’ Kidd said, “because we know if he gets the ball, he’s a handful and it takes two guys to guard him. He’s the leading scorer in the whole conference, and we wanted to try to stop him, slow him down a little bit.’’
The Flying Eagles also dominated the boards, leading in rebounds 53-32, with Walton grabbing 12 and Eddie Christian seven. Other top scorers for Woodrow included Christian (17 points), Mikey Penn (16) and Danny Bickey (10). Each Woodrow starter had at least one steal and Walton had three.
For South Charleston, C.J. Allison (12 points, 12 rebounds) and Phillips (12 points, 10 rebounds) each turned in double-doubles.