West boys win in overtime

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(Photo by Mark Robinson)
With about 30 seconds left in regulation, West’s Shane Griffith picks up a loose ball he took away from Richwood’s Luca Gerke. Adam Johnson, whose foot can be seen in the bottom right corner of the photo, took the ensuing pass from Griffith to score the layup that tied the game and sent it into overtime, which West won, giving them an 81-73 victory.

On Tuesday night, Richwood came to Charmco to play the Greenbrier West boys basketball team. The game went into overtime, with West winning, 81-73.

Although everything seemed to go their way in the overtime, getting to that overtime was never a sure thing, as West needed a steal and a quick layup with 25 seconds remaining just to make the tie that allowed them into the final period.

Shane Griffith and Adam Johnson produced the steal, Griffith scrambling to pick it up and pass to Johnson, who was already headed the other direction. Johnson hit the layup, and the score was tied at 69, which was how regulation ended. The key to the overtime was that West’s shots were dropping in, while Richwood’s were not. Both teams did a lot of scrambling for loose balls, and applied high pressure defense. West did a better job rebounding, and Richwood didn’t get as many free throws.

Noah Midkiff and Adam Johnson provided most of the firepower for West during the game and during the overtime, with Collin O’Dell providing points in the last fourteen minutes. Midkiff had 31 points, Johnson had 27, many of them put backs off of his strong rebounding game.

For Richwood, Luca Gerke had 22 points and Shane Lipps had 19. Gerke had a quiet first half, with only four points, but took charge of his team in the second half, often creating shots for himself on strong drives to the basket. Lipps hit five three-point shots, three in the first quarter. Richwood shot 19 free throws in the game; West shot 32. West finished its season with a record of 13-9.

West’s Joey Fitzwater said, “What a ball game! What a way to finish the season for the seniors! Richwood shot the lights out in the first half. Great game. We’re going to start getting ready for sectionals now.” West plays its first sectional game next Wednesday, Feb. 29, in Princeton. The opponent is yet to be determined.