By RICK HAYES firstname.lastname@example.org
---- — WALTONVILLE — A county rivalry is alive and well.
Up by just four points at halftime, Woodlawn rode on the back of senior center Jake Robinson, who scored 14 of his game-high 19 points in the second half to give the Cardinals a 49-39 victory over Waltonville.
Woodlawn shot a dismal 10-of-28 in the first half, leading by only two, 13-11, at the end of the first break. Waltonville took its only lead of the game three minutes into the second quarter when Dylan Miller hit a 15-foot jumper to give the Spartans an 18-17 lead. Woodlawn’s Parker Renaud followed with a baseline jumper and Chase Phillips added a jump shot in the lane to put the Cardinals 21-18, and it was 25-21 at the half.
“We got several good shots inside, particularly in the first half,” said Woodlawn coach Shane Witzel. “What we wanted to do is get some shots in the paint with our size. Just overall a poor shooting night, but I felt we distributed the ball well and we ran our offense decently and got the kind of looks we wanted to get. We just didn’t need make them.”
Witzel said when Waltonville went to a half-court trap the Cardinals were able to get the ball into the high post (to Robinson) and get some easy layups to create separation. Chase Phelps added 14 points for the 4-1 Cardinals.
“We did not play well offensively. The effort was very good, and we guarded pretty well. But those are the kind of shots we need to make when we get inside,” he added.
While the Cardinals couldn’t buy a bucket in the first half, they remained consistent at the charity stripe — hitting 17-of-20 free throws.
Waltonville’s shooting went south in the third quarter as the Spartans only field goal came in the final minute on a three-point bucket from Justin Winchester, who hit three treys in leading the Spartans with 11 points. Hunter Coggins added 10 for the Spartans, who fell to 1-4.
“It was a bad quarter offensively. They went to a 1-3-1 (defense) which was a good move, and we had some turnovers that led to some of their offensive breakouts and layups,” said Waltonville coach Brian Gamber. “We didn’t get many looks. At the time it was a three- or four-point game and I felt good at that time where the game was. We just had some bad possessions. We tried to force some things, and dug ourself in a hole. We’re just not a team that can make up points in a hurry.”
Woodlawn held a 31-24 lead at the end of the third quarter, and then Robinson took over the game in the final stanza scoring seven of his team’s 18 points, including a perfect 8-of-8 from the free throw line.
Woodlawn finished shooting 36 percent from the field on 16-of-45 while the Spartans were a tad better at 42 percent. Waltonville was 7-of-10 from the charity stripe.