By Dave Morrison
CHARLESTON – There will be video games in the Pendleton County hotel rooms.
“Coach took away our consoles (Monday night prior to the Wildcats game with Greenbrier West),” senior Bailey Thompson said. “He said if we win this game we can get our consoles back.”
Coach Ryan Lambert said he would honor that word, “after we watch this next game and get a good (scout (scouting report).”
No. 3 seed Pendleton County earned that right with a 59-45 victory against the No. 6 seed Cavaliers in the Class A semifinals at the Charleston Coliseum
Senior big man Josh Alt controlled the paint on both ends and finished with 25 points and 13 rebounds. HE also had three assists and three steals. Thompson added 12 points (6 of 9 shooting) and nine rebounds.
Getting a handle on Alt seemed to be a tough chore, one Greenbrier West coach Jared Robertson was made tougher.
“He’s got a lot of good touch and moves around the basket,” Robertson said. “We knew we had to keep him from getting the ball to the rim and we didn’t do a good job sometimes fronting him in the post. Again, when you have that kind of physical presence in the middle and they are never in foul trouble but you are, that makes it tough on you to adjust as a coach and try to figure out how to attack them and score.”
Greenbrier West’s leading scorer Kaiden Pack fouled out with just under seven minutes left. He averaged about 31 minutes a game and he played just 19 minutes against Pendleton. Pack finished with 11 points, all in the first half. Greenbrier West was whistled for 20 fouls, Greenbrier West 12. Pendleton was 18 of 23 at the line, Greenbrier West was 9 of 12.
West finished just 2 of 15 from 3, after hitting 10 against James Monroe in the Region 3 championship. They were 1 of 9 at the half. but still led at the break, 30-29.
“Offensively for us, we don’t rely on the 3 all the time like some teams, but we need to make 3s,” Robertson said. “When it’s 1 for 9 its tough for us. Normally with these three kids here sitting with me (Pack, Chase Boggs and Brandon Oscar) they can all make that shot. It was just one of those days where if one of those kids gets hot we might be sitting here with a smile on our faces.”
It was Pendleton County’s defense that turned the tide, holding Greenbrier West to just 15 points in the second half and four in the fourth quarter with Pack on the bench.
Oscar and Boggs each finished with eight points.
The Wildcats outrebounded the Cavaliers 38-28 and their two bigs. Alt and Thompson, had six of the team’s 12 assists.
Pendleton County moves on to play the winner of Cameron-Tug Valley Thursday.