George Washington High School senior Jon Elmore did his part, scoring 10 points more than his average, but it wasn't enough for the Patriots to overcome Wheeling Park's balance in a 77-72 loss on Saturday at GW.
Elmore's season-high 38 points came on a variety of buckets, including 3-pointers, putbacks and a 16-of-18 performance from the line.
George Washington (3-2) led by one with 52 seconds remaining in the third quarter, but Wheeling Park (3-1) scored the next seven points and didn't trail again despite the efforts of their 6-foot-3 go-to guy.
"To an extent (Jon) needs help, but that was all about defense and rebounding," GW Coach Rick Greene said. "We gave up something like 20 offensive rebounds. We have to get more balanced, and we've been balanced. You can spin it a thousand different ways, but we have to keep them off the offensive boards. How many jumpers did they get? They were way in the arc and down."
Wheeling Park's quick run didn't put the game away. George Washington cut the lead to one with 30 seconds remaining behind a Drew Baker baseline jumper. Baker's basket was the fifth point during a 23-point fourth not scored by Elmore. A Dominic King 3-pointer with 1:01 left also cut the lead to one.
However, Wheeling Park -- which hits 73.8 percent of its free throws -- was 15-of-17 from the line in the final period and 28-of-36 for the game.
"I just told the guys, I think we played better tonight than we did on Dec. 20," said Jebbia, referring to the Patriots' 64-63 loss to Winfield at the Charleston Civic Center. "And we closed the game out. Still, Ryan (Reinbeau) and Trenton (Smith) didn't shoot great, but they did some things down the stretch. I might be wrong because everything runs together, but I think Chalmer Moffett provided a spark somewhere."