WINFIELD - Zach Fisher could not keep himself from laughing.
Asked whether he was surprised that Capital remained in a 1-2-2 zone through the entire first half of a rare early-evening boys basketball game Monday night, the result of the Cougars' defensive strategy burst through Fisher's soft-spoken demeanor.
"Yeah, I was surprised," he said through a chuckle. "We were hitting pretty good tonight."
Fisher was putting it mildly. The Generals (8-5) were 10-of-18 from 3-point range (55.6 percent) and for the most part cruised to a 90-77 win over the Class AAA No. 6 Cougars (7-3).
Winfield, whose win was just its third since Dec. 23 after a 5-0 start to the season, took advantage of the zone with repeated penetration kick-outs to open shooters on the perimeter, Fisher said. The senior was one of four Generals who knocked down a pair of 3-pointers, and one of three who finished with 20 or more points.
"They were just falling," he said. "I think we got the ball out fast, too, and they didn't get set up in their pressure. I think that led to some open shots, too."
John "Bear" Bellomy led Winfield with 23 points while Fisher and Toby Show each finished with 21. Fisher led the Generals with five assists and three steals, while Show led all players with nine rebounds.
"That's pretty much how Zach plays," Winfield coach Pat McGinnis said of Fisher's all-around performance. "He plays hard on both ends of the floor."
The pace for the high-scoring game was set by the Generals' ability to knock down shots early. They led 24-22 after one quarter and extended the lead to 51-37 by halftime. Capital senior forward Carrington Morris, the team's leading scorer this season, picked up his third personal foul with 2:28 left in the first half. The team's second-leading scorer, junior Jordan Kinney, also picked up his third before the half.
"They're a very good shooting team. I think they were prepared to play," said Capital coach Carl Clark, whose team has dropped two of its last three beginning with an upset loss to Lewis County at the Big Atlantic Classic in Beckley last week.
"They knew what we did, and they were prepared to do the things to stop things we like to do," Clark said. "I think preparation is a big thing. We've played more games now than we've had practices (since the start of the regular season). We can't get in the gym."