Patience paying off for UHS’s Meadows

3-point play at end seals victory


    All Grant Meadows could do Friday night was wait, but then again, that’s something he’s grown used to.
    The 6-foot-8 junior center had to wait just to get on the court a year ago. A Secondary School Activities Commission rule kept him on the sideline until both of his parents were officially living in Morgantown.
    Then came the slow process of adjusting to a new area, a new team and a new system, which never really came to pass before the end of the season.
    “I could just never really get into the swing of things last year,” Meadows said. “I’m much more comfortable this year.” It shows, and maybe Meadows’ patience finally paid off in the Hawks’ 43-40 victory against crosstown rival Morgantown High. Meadows’ basket and free throw with 14 seconds to play gave the Hawks (13-4) a 42-38 lead and was the difference in the game. Again, though, he had to wait. This time, though, he wasn’t waiting for a governing body to rule or for family matters to work themselves out. He was waiting on his teammates. Down, 39-38, MHS (12-5) had a chance to take the lead with 22 seconds left, but after good defensive pressure by UHS, Morgantown’s John Hatfield threw the inbounds pass over Jamie Karraker’s head and turned it over.
MHS immediately called on its full-court press, and there was Meadows standing near his own basket, waiting on his teammates to break it.
“It felt like forever,” he said.
It almost was and UHS barely beat the 10-second count.
“The front part of that press was good,” MHS coach Tom Yester said. “The back side of the press wasn’t and that’s where we would have had J.T. [Lewis].”
    Lewis had fouled out moments before the play and could only watch as L.C. Jefferson fired a pass to Jedd Gyorko, who looked up and saw a wide open Meadows.
    “I just thank Jedd for giving me a good pass and I took it and made sure I went up strong with it,” Meadows said.
    The basket was good and Meadows was fouled on the play by Hatfield. Meadows, who finished with 10 points and eight rebounds, sank the free throw and victory belonged to the Hawks, who got their first regular-season sweep of the Mohigans since 2000.
    “Grant’s been scoring big baskets for us all season,” UHS coach Bruce Clinton said. “I’m sure this is one he’ll remember since it was against the crosstown rival and all of that. He went up strong, which is something we’ve been stressing to him all season. It was a nice play by Grant, but it was set up by us attacking the press. When teams press us, we want to make them pay like Grant did on that final play.”