Thursday March 14, 2013
State Tournament: South Charleston rallies to top Morgantown with Moles on bench
by Derek Taylor
Daily Mail preps editor

Bob Wojcieszak
South Charleston's Hunter Moles and Trevond Reese double-team Morgantown's Nathan Adrian during AAA Boys State Basketball Tournament action Thursday evening at the Charleston Civic Center. Bob Wojcieszak/Daily Mail

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CHARLESTON, W.Va. -- If South Charleston Coach Vic Herbert knew that benching his tallest player would result in the Black Eagles beating a taller Morgantown team on the glass, SC senior Hunter Moles might not have played Thursday night in the Class AAA state tournament quarterfinals.

As it was, the 6-foot-4 Moles went to the bench after drawing a technical foul less than two minutes into the third quarter with Morgantown leading by five points and having outrebounded SC by 10 in the first half.

Moles did not return, but South Charleston's urgency - to hit the boards, to defend with more pressure and to take better shots on offense - emerged with a fury shortly after his exit, leading to a 48-39 Black Eagles (24-2) win and a date against No. 2 seed Beckley (22-4) in the Class AAA semifinals at 9 p.m. today.

"They outrebounded us in the first half, so we just wanted to come out and box out. We knew they had a bit of a height advantage on us," South Charleston senior point guard Ra'Shaud Kincaid said. "We knew they were shooting a couple 3s and they were bouncing out farther than usual so we wanted to get a body on everybody."

Led by 6-foot-9 West Virginia recruit Nathan Adrian, Morgantown (19-7) had 22 first-half rebounds to SC's 12.

By game's end, the totals were tied at 37-37.

"I just wanted to be physical with Adrian," said SC senior forward Trevond Reese, who had nine rebounds.

"I mean, he's a good player and he played his heart out. He had however many points, but it was a tough night for him. We just had to push him back and make him take hard shots."

Adrian was playing his third game since returning from a broken foot suffered in January. He finished with 17 points and 17 rebounds, both game highs, but made just 6 of 20 shots from the floor, with six of those attempts coming from 3-point range.

"There's no way I can shot 6-for-20 and expect us to win," Adrian said.

Adrian refused to blame his shooting performance on his injury, saying he is no longer hurt.

"That's no excuse at all," he said. "I was just bad."

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