LONDON – Madison Plains held West Liberty-Salem in check and won, 56-46, in OHC boys basketball Tuesday night. It was the Tigers’ first game since the school shooting Friday at WL-S that left two students injured and one still hospitalized.
“The effort was great. The guys just wanted to get back out on the court again, spend time with each other,” WL-S Coach Darrin Leichty said. “We talked about just kinda being together again. That was really important. It’s been a tough week, but they’re resilient and we’ll be ready for Friday.”
Both teams got off to a cold start, but the Golden Eagles bounced back in a big way in the second quarter.
“We felt like we were doing some pretty good things, we just had some looks that didn’t go in,” Leichty said. “The ball kinda rolled around the rim and didn’t drop, and I think we dropped a little defensively when that happened.”
Aided by a few WL-S turnovers, the Eagles scored 17 points in the frame and took a 22-20 lead into halftime.
After the intermission, Madison Plains built the lead further on a few long buckets and by forcing even more pressure.
“We got very passive. In the third quarter, we didn’t meet passes, we didn’t pass fake, we were very passive with the basketball,” Leichty said. “That little hole we dug was too much to come back tonight against a team that plays so stinking hard.”
The Eagles pestered the Tigers (9-6, 3-5 OHC) on defense and penetrated again and again off the dribble offensively, creating good looks or fouls. The home team shot 17 free throws in the fourth quarter – enough to seal the win.
For WL-S, Kannon Stillings had 18 points and Tyler Louden scored 13.
The Tigers were able to hold on for a 34-30 victory in the jayvee game. Cody King had 10 points in that game for the Tigers.
WL-S will take to the road to play Fairbanks on Friday.