BECKLEY - South Charleston's dominance of the Mountain State Athletic Conference continued Tuesday night, as the Black Eagles used a blistering third quarter performance to break open a tight game against host Beckley before hanging on to a 51-44 win.
The teams - each ranked within the Class AAA Associated Press Top 10 - battled to a 24-24 tie by halftime, but an 8-for-13 shooting performance in the third by the Black Eagles (7-1) helped break things open. While senior point guard Rashaud Kincaid and company went on a tear on both ends of the floor, Beckley floundered.
The Flying Eagles (4-3) committed seven turnovers in the third, shot just 1 for 11 from the floor and were outscored 18-6.
"The first half we came out rushing a little bit. We were taking the first shot we saw," said Kincaid, who led SC with 17 points and seven rebounds.
"We weren't patient with running our offense all the way through. I believe that in the second half we came out and played as a team well. We moved the ball, were setting screens and got each other open."
The win was third-ranked South Charleston's 31st in a row against MSAC opponents. The result also provided another noteworthy streak, as it was the third consecutive game that Beckley lost at the Raleigh County Convention Center. Beckley radio announcers claimed that it was the first time in at least 23 years that such a streak had taken place.
While SC opened up a 12-point lead entering the fourth, the seventh-ranked Flying Eagles made a game of it again down the stretch. After chipping away at the lead at the foul line, Beckley got to within 42-41 of the lead with 3:27 remaining, when senior point guard Andrew Johnson scored off a steal.
That's when Kincaid again proved to be worthy of the esteem afforded him by SC Coach Vic Herbert. The 5-foot-6 three-year starter pulled up on SC's return trip and hit a 3-pointer that made it a two-possession game with 2:56 left.
"We needed to get settled down, and that's why I called the timeout I did in the fourth quarter," Herbert said. "Rashaud's been doing this for three years, and he's our captain. He showed why tonight. He's very level headed and knows what to do in those situations." South Charleston (7-1) FG 3Pt FT Pts
Kevin Williams 0-1 0-1 2-4 2
Hunter Moles 1-2 0-0 2-4 4
Rashaud Kincaid 5-12 3-6 4-4 17
A.D. Cunningham 3-7 2-2 2-5 10
Trevond Reese 3-6 1-1 1-3 8
Devon Harris 1-3 0-1 0-0 2
Neal Brown 3-6 0-1 0-0 6
Walter Clark 0-1 0-0 0-0 0
Knapper 0-1 0-0 0-0 0
Totals 17-39 6-11 10-20 51
Percentages .435 .545 .500
Beckley (4-3) FG 3pt Ft Pts
Andrew Johnson 3-10 0-3 2-2 8
Nick Deems 0-5 0-0 0-0 0
Donte Nabors 7-19 0-3 4-5 18