Bearcats take down Huskies in regional championship

GRAFTON—The Grafton High School boys basketball team will be headed to Charleston this coming Thursday, to compete in the class AA WV state basketball tournament.

The Bearcats earned that honor on Wednesday night when they defeated the North Marion Huskies, in front of a packed house in the Scotty Hamilton Gymnasium.

The Bearcats jumped out to and early lead and in fact led the entire game on their way to a 61—50 win, and with the win comes a regional championship.

The Cats received their much needed “fast offensive start” to the contest when Garrett Wellman stole the ball on the opening North Marion possession, and drove the ball to the rim to put the Cats up 2—0. Wellman would then go on to score the first seven points in the contest for GHS.

“Garrett was huge for us tonight,” said head coach Michael Johnson. “He is always great on the defensive side of the ball, but it was great to see him give us such a great start on the offensive end.”

The Cats would hold a six point lead after one quarter of play, with Ryan Maier, Jack Faulkner and Wellman all scoring in the quarter.

The Cats would continue to roll in the second quarter, as they won the quarter 17—16, giving them a 35—28 advantage going into the locker room at the half.

The third quarter proved to be a difficult offensive quarter for GHS, as they could only add eight more points to their side of the board. The Huskies would put in 12, as they moved to within three points going into the final quarter of play.

The fourth quarter would belong to GHS, and the boys were determined not to let this get away from them.

With some key rebounds late by Caleb Bish and clutch free throws made by Blake Moore, the Cats would extend their lead late in the quarter. The exclamation point in the game came when Jack Faulkner stole a North Marion pass and took it the length of the floor and dunked the ball as time expired.

“I am super proud of this team,” said Coach Johnson. “They have been the true definition of over coming adversity all season.”

“We started out 1-8, then went on a little winning streak. We then lost a couple more in a row, but these boys never game up. We told them you don’t have to be good in December and even January, but you have to be good at the end of the season, and that is just what these young men have accomplished. The kids have bought in and are playing their best basketball at the right time,” he concluded.

Faulkner was once again the leading scorer for GHS with 21 points, followed by Blake Moore with 13 and Maier with 12.

The remaining GHS points were scored by Wellman (7), Bish (4), Logan Beltner (2) and Garrett Moats (2).

According to Athletic Director Rich Bord this was the largest basketball crowd in the history of the Scotty Hamilton Gymnasium.

The athletic department  would like to thank all of the parents, students and Bearcat fans that came out to support this team.

The Bearcats will be back in action this coming Thursday, as they will take on the number one team in class AA, the Chapmanville Tigers (23-2).

The game is set to tip-off from the Charleston Civic Center at 5:30 p.m.

Good luck to the players and coaches! Show them what you’re made of!

© 2019-Mountain Statesman

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