Boys basketball: Eddy carries load for GW
CHARLESTON, W.Va. -- Depending on the opponent, George Washington senior Luke Eddy proves he can do it all, or discovers that he can't carry the entire load for Coach Rick Greene's team.
Either way, it might be impossible to find another team with eight victories that relies so heavily upon one player.
Eddy poured in 39 points, reaching the 1,000-point mark for his career on Wednesday night in a 76-69 victory over upstart Hurricane (8-3) at George Washington High School.
George Washington Coach Rick Greene who never has been shy about touting his players for postseason awards, said Eddy belongs among the state's elite.
"There's a lot of good players, and there's been a lot of good players here, but he's the best player in the state," said Greene, whose two-stint career as George Washington coach is in its 20th season and includes 2001 Evans Award winner Patrick O'Malley and recent award finalists in 2006 (Chris Long) and 2011 (TyQuane Goard). "I know I'm biased, but I think he is."
Eddy needed 34 to reach 1,000 and has 1,005 for a career that began with spot duty as a freshman, and continued with a State Tournament championship as a sophomore and a runner-up finish last season.
A two-point basket with 1:56 left in the third quarter gave him 1,000.
His help on Wednesday emerged down the stretch when junior Dominik King scored with 1:19 left to extend a five-point lead to seven, sophomore Alex Lewis added two free throws following a Hurricane 3-pointer and King knocked down two more with 28.1 seconds left to extend the lead to eight.
Otherwise, it was Eddy who held the Redskins at bay in a game that featured only two ties and two lead changes, but saw the Patriots (8-3) lead by no more than nine points - 20-11 with 1:25 left in the first and 57-48 with 6:36 left in the game.
"We're just inconsistent at the other spots," Greene said. "We're getting more contributions. Like the contributions we got late, we got that all day against St. Albans, so it's there, we just have to keep coming."
Hurricane tried to exploit some of the Patriots' weaknesses by double-teaming Eddy to force him to give up the ball. The intention of Coach Lance Sutherland's defense was to not allow him to get it back, but to no avail - at least on most occasions.
The Redskins managed to force GW into seven third-quarter turnovers, but still trailed by seven going in the final quarter thanks to Eddy scoring eight of the Patriots' 13 points in the period.
"It worked better in the second half, I think he only got 13 in the second half," said Sutherland, who is in his third season and has a 29-28 record with the Redskins. "We came out and wanted to play a sagging man-to-man and thought we had our help side and it just didn't work. He's just so quick and got it out before we could get where we were supposed to be.
"In the second half, we said, every time he touches the ball, trap him and hope he doesn't get it back. To some extent it worked, but also to some extent it didn't. He's a very good basketball player and he's very hard to stop."
Eddy hit three 3-pointers in the first quarter, but Hurricane's balance - led by junior Henry Sorsaia's 26 points - kept coming. He scored to cut the lead to 33-32 with 2:54 left in the first half before a pair of King free throws started a 7-0 GW run.
Two Eddy free throws extended the Patriots' lead to 61-54, but Alex Estep had a free throw and Sorsaia two to cut it to four.
George Washington's other senior starter - Austin Breeden - scored two of his six points in the fourth for a six-point lead and started a string of 14 consecutive points by GW players Breeden, King, freshman Cam Hoston and Lewis, while Eddy was being shut out for 4:13.2 of the game's final 4:30.
Eddy didn't score again until the game's final point on a free throw with 16.8 seconds left, raising his season average to 26.5 points, and his percentage of GW's offense to 46.7 percent.
He and Breeden shared top rebounding honors with nine apiece, while Breeden added five assists, but was just 2-of-10 from the foul line. King finished with 12 points.
Guard Rasaan Harris had 14 points and Trey Dawson added 12 for the Redskins, who are seeking their second consecutive winning season.
The Patriots, who have played in the state title game three times since 2005, will need more to reach that destination again.
"To be completely honest, Dom (King) needs to step up and take it to the next level so we have him to rely on," Eddy said.
"We have Austin (Breeden), he needs to work on his free throws he has a good game. Alex Lewis is young, he's going to make mistakes, but we have to get him to play next play, next play, just keep reminding him."
Until then, the attention will remain on Eddy.
Greene just hopes it comes from more than opponents.
Contact Assistant Sports Editor Rich Stevens at firstname.lastname@example.org or 304-348-4837.