Boys basketball: Moles, Black Eagles blast Cougars
CHARLESTON, W.Va. -- The South Charleston boys basketball team's next opponent is a surprising one to many, but didn't stun Black Eagles coach Vic Herbert.
Third-ranked South Charleston trounced Capital, 74-42, Wednesday in the Region 3, Section 1 semfinals and on Friday will host Riverside, which upset George Washington.
"I told my coaches I thought GW would win, but it wouldn't shock me at all if Riverside won," Herbert said after his win. "I thought GW had the best player by far, but possibly Riverside had the next two to three."
Four South Charleston players scored in double figures, led by 14 points from Hunter Moles.
The Black Eagles (21-2) will face the Warriors with a ton of momentum. South Charleston turned a comfortable lead into a blowout by outscoring the Cougars (10-15) 18-4 in the third quarter. That period included a 16-0 Black Eagles run that put the game away.
Capital scored the first basket of the third quarter thanks to senior Wesley Johnson, cutting the Black Eagles' lead to 42-30, but that would be the only basket the Cougars would make for more than five minutes. Ten of those 16 points in South Charleston's run came from senior Hunter Moles. When junior Carrington Morris finally ended Capital's drought with a basket at the 2:43 mark, South Charleston led 58-32.
"This is probably the best four quarters we played from beginning to end maybe all year," Herbert said. "We were pretty good tonight."
The Black Eagles started out hot, jumping out to a 17-5 lead, but the Cougars were able to make it a game in the second quarter. Morris, who scored just one point in the first quarter, hit a trio of deep 3-pointers in the second. The third one, with about 5:09 left in the first half, cut South Charleston's lead to 27-22 and put the Black Eagles on their heels.
They'd steady themselves shortly afterward, and responded by outscoring Capital 15-4 over the final 4:29 of the first half. South Charleston ended the half with back-to-back 3-pointers, including one from Ra'Shaud Kincaid as he drove, stopped and drilled it from the top of the key as time ran out.
The Black Eagles swarmed Capital on defense, forcing 34 Cougars turnovers.
"We wanted to come out to an early start and just break their will," SC sophomore A.D. Cunningham said.
"We wanted to get out there and just win, just come out hard."
Capital coach Carl Clark shouldered the blame for the Cougars' loss after the game.
"I just didn't do the things I should have done from the bench in order to give the kids a better chance of winning," Clark said.
Kincaid added 13 points for South Charleston, including three of the team's six 3-pointers, while Cunningham and Brandon Knapper each scored 10. Morris scored 14 points to lead Capital, with Austin Coleman adding nine.
Contact sportswriter Derek Redd at email@example.com or 304-348-1712. Follow him on Twitter @derekredd.