State Tournament: Untimely miscue lifts Newman, Washington
CHARLESTON, W.Va. -- Just a moment in time that Parkersburg South would like to get back.
Dylon Reppeto hit a 3-pointer to tie the game at 56 with 26 seconds left, and, in a flash, Washington's Dominique Newman got loose to score a layup with 15 seconds left.
South didn't score again in the 60-56 Class AAA state tournament quarterfinal on Thursday at the Charleston Civic Center.
Although the game wasn't decided right there, because South's Tyler Bolen missed two free throws with 7 seconds left that would have tied it, South's split-second of relaxation ultimately cost the game.
"We got caught in that make and we didn't get back on defense," Parkersburg South Coach Mike Fallon said. "Newman is quick, probably quickest kid we played all year. We tried to keep him contained."
Reppeto's basket was his first attempt of the game in only three minutes of action.
As for Newman, he played 23 minutes and finished with 17 points, three rebounds, two assists and two steals.
"After they hit the 3 I knew they thought they were excited, 'Wow, we just tied the game,'" Newman said. "I knew they wouldn't get back immediately, so I took advantage of that speed."
Washington (21-5), in its first appearance at the state tournament, will face Martinsburg for the fourth time this season in the semifinals at 5:30 p.m. today. The top-seeded Bulldogs (24-2) advanced with a 60-50 quarterfinal victory over Huntington on Wednesday.
Martinsburg won the first three meetings 72-58 on Jan. 4, 61-42 on Jan. 29 and 61-55 in the sectional.
"We want to see them again," Washington Coach Don Bullett said. "We've matured, we're a lot more patient, and as a basketball team we've grown."
Their patience paid off against South, which scored the first six points and led by six at halftime after a Wes Mitchem 3-pointer just before the buzzer.
However, Mitchem rolled his ankle and, after a 16-point, five-rebound first half, he scored only four points and had four boards in the second half while playing 12 of a possible 16 minutes.
"It's still sore," a dejected Mitchem said. "This is not how I envisioned my last game."
Keldon Bell helped Washington earn a 49-34 rebounding advantage with 17 boards to go with his 16 points. Kendell Smith had 11 points and 11 rebounds and Jerome Jones was one of three Washington players in double figures for rebounds with 12.
Doug Dennis was the only other South player who scored double figures with 10 points, while Bolen had seven assists.
Washington also exploited a one-sided advantage in offensive rebounds, outscoring South in second-chance points 16-2 to offset South's 10-2 advantage in points from the bench.
"We've been in some close games," Bullett said. "We played Martinsburg three times, we played Morgantown, the schedule prepared us for this game. It was our first appearance in the state tournament, so the kids were a little nervous."
Contact Assistant Sports Editor Rich Stevens at firstname.lastname@example.org or 304-348-4837.