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Prep basketball: Winfield looks 'good' in rout of Ripley

By Nick Brockman

WINFIELD, W.Va. -- A well-executed team effort propelled the Winfield boys basketball team to a season-opening win against visiting Ripley on Monday night.

The Generals opened the schedule with a resounding 91-66 victory highlighted by offensive balance, a theme Coach Pat McGinnis said the team has underscored this season.

"We had five guys in double figures for the first time in a long time, and that's what we've emphasized this year," he said.

Senior guard Zach Fisher paced all scorers with 23 points, including 5-of-10 from 3-point range. The 3-point basket carried Winfield throughout the game as the Generals shot 17-of-41 beyond the arc, including 14-of-26 in the first half.

"We're just getting open, sharing it and shooting in rhythm," Fisher said.

Beyond Fisher, John "Bear" Bellomy (17 points), Toby Show (11), Heath Diehl (11) and Taylor Hearn (11) also reached double figures on the night.

"We haven't scored like that in a long, so we were really pleased with it," McGinnis said. "We knew coming in that we had some guys that could shoot it. We obviously would like to go inside-out first, but if you got guys that can make those, you're going to take it all day."

Winfield opened the contest with the game's first points and never trailed. After the first quarter, the Generals led Ripley 28-11 and increased that advantage to 58-29 at halftime. In addition to hot shooting, Winfield employed a solid defensive effort to fuel the Generals offense.

"Our pressure, we're really pleased with how our pressure went," McGinnis said. "When you're playing well like that, you hate to turn it off, because then as you noticed when we started subbing and stuff, we gave up a lot of chippies and so forth, but we wanted to get experience for the other guys."

Though the Vikings held a size advantage, Ripley Coach Craig Harmon said his squad could not overcome Winfield's stellar shooting and tenacity.

"They got hot and they blew us out," Harmon said. "We're awful young, but they beat us on the board. They cracked the board. We didn't box out and we got no pressure."

Show finished with a game-high 13 rebounds to go with his 11 points for a double-double. Ripley committed 25 turnovers to just 10 by Winfield. While the Vikings enjoy a high-tempo game, the Generals executed the style better on Monday, Harmon said.

"We like running, but they like running better," he said. "They got a nice team. They're not real big, but they're all about the same size, well-coached, plus they can all shoot and they play hard. Our kids didn't play hard enough, so it's a learning experience."

The solid win provides Winfield with a much-welcomed starting point for the rest of the year, Fisher said.

"It feels good," he said. "It helps our confidence a lot going forward in the season. We looked good today."

Winfield next plays host to Nitro 7:30 p.m. Saturday, while Ripley plays at Hurricane 7:30 p.m. Dec. 18.


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