SHINNSTON—Winners of five of their last six games, the Grafton Bearcats boys’ basketball team headed to Shinnston on Wednesday to take on the Lincoln Cougars, who came into the game sporting a 14-7 record after a lopsided 65-30 win at Wyoming East just four days before.
Before the varsity squads would hit the floor, Grafton would play Lincoln tough in the JV matchup but unfortunately come out on the losing end, dropping that contest by the score of 48-44.
Freshman J.T. Veltri led the way for the Bearcats on offense scoring 11 points, all in the second half. Justin Spiker added nine points and Dante Owens added seven in the defeat.
In the varsity contest, the Bearcats would ruin Lincoln’s Senior Night as the trio of Blake Moore (20), Jack Faulkner (19), and Ryan Maier (14) combined for 53 of Grafton’s 62 points in the Bearcats’ solid 62-53 win over the Cougars.
The Bearcats would find themselves down 12-9 after the first period but would go on a run in the second to take a 24-23 lead at the break behind Moore’s 11 first-half points and Maier’s steady free throw shooting.
Coming out in the third, the Bearcats would continue to push forward, outscoring the Cougars 18-13 to take a six-point lead heading into the final period.
The Cougars would find some offense from junior guard Zach Snyder, who scored 10 of his team-high 17 points in the fourth, but it was not enough to overcome Grafton’s 20 fourth-quarter points as the Bearcats held on for the nine-point win.
“It was a great team win tonight,” said Grafton head coach Michael Johnson after the game. “I thought we played well defensively, and I liked the way that we shared the basketball on offense. Lincoln is a good basketball team who has some really good wins so to beat them on the road is a testament to how our team is improving down the stretch.”
The Bearcats were in action late last night against the Robert C. Byrd Eagles, but results from that contest were not immediately available.
Grafton earned the #2 seed in the section and are still scheduled to face the winner of Monday’s #6 Petersburg at #3 Keyser matchup on Wednesday at Scotty Hamilton Gymnasium at GHS.
Tipoff for the Grafton sectional game is scheduled for 7:00 p.m.