(Photography courtesy Tina Quesenberry)
Max Meadows…Down 49-43 with less than four minutes left in the game the Fort Chiswell Pioneers got big contributions from Noah Widelo, Tanner Bailey and two huge foul shots from Andrew Stoots to pull out a 57-54 victory over Floyd Co. and win their first round game in the First Community Bank Tournament.
Bailey finished with 17 points and Noah Widelo knocked down 16 points and hauled in eight rebounds. Senior Andrew Stoots scored only two points, but they came on a one and one with just 18 seconds to go, as he calmly walked to line and ranked the free throws to put the Pioneers up by the final margin.
The game was a see-saw affair with Floyd up 18-12 after the opening quarter. The Pioneers would go on an 11-0 run to end the second quarter and take a 27-23 lead into intermission. The Buffaloes (2-5) would then outscore Fort Chiswell 19-13 to retake the third quarter lead 42-40 heading into the final stanza. The Buffaloes got three’s from Dustin Thompson and Cayden Sutphin, and Noah Bolt hit one of two free throws to take a 49-43 advantage with 3:55 to go in the game.
Widelo and Bailey would then take over on offense with Widelo hitting three huge driving shots to the basket, and Bailey hit two short jumpers to put the Pioneers back up with forty-four seconds left to the final lead of the back and forth contest.
Austin Gallimore led Floyd Co. with 15 points, most from point blank range. Thompson hit four three’s for his 12 points and Noah Bolt chipped in with 11.
The Pioneers (3-2) Bailey scored 15 of his game high 17 in the second half. Freshman guard Kolton Sutphin hit for eight points and led them with five big assists. Fort Chiswell head coach Derrick Jackson said, ”We got big game from Bailey and Widelo tonight. It was a nip and tuck game. In a game of runs, we got the last run.” He then remarked, ”Floyd played well and they’re much better than their record. I thought we attacked the basket much better there in the fourth quarter and we got better. We need to be more consistent as we are missing our big guy in Colby Rider, who is out for probably two more weeks.” Rider is still recovering from a broken collarbone that occurred in the third round of the football playoffs. The Pioneers will take on district rival Grayson Co. at 8:30 tonight as the Blue Devils rallied also to beat Abingdon 43-33. They would outscore the Falcons (1-5) 20-12 in the final quarter to advance in the winners’ bracket. Junior Seth Phillips, with 22 points, led Grayson and Wes Ayers knocked down 18. Abingdon got 17 points from junior forward Tommy Francisco and eight from senior Cedric Claridy.
In other first round action the Alleghany Co. (NC) Trojans (9-0) got 15 points from Hunter Todd and eight from Brett Pope to roll over the Galax Maroon Tide 46-18. The Tide got five points apiece from Ethan Robinson and Cade Ashworth. The Trojans will take on Radford Bobcats at 7pm tonight as they defeated Carroll Co. 47-30. The Cats got a big second quarter from their point guard sophomore Quinton Morton-Robertson as he scored 12 of the Bobcats’ 15 quarter points. He finished with 20 being the only Radford (4-3) player in double figures. Miles Jones was next in scoring for Radford with eight. The Cavaliers got nine points from Adam Horton and seven from Garrett Haynes.
Fort Chiswell 12 15 13 17-57
Floyd Co. 18 5 19 12-54
Fort – Bailey 17, Widelo 16, Ramsey 8, Sutphin 8, Stoots 2, Beasley 3, Hedge 3
Floyd – Sutphin 3, Thompson 12, Gallimore 15, Bolt 11, Neukirch 6, J.Bary 4, Moran 3
3 Pt. Goals – Fort Chiswell – 3 – (Bailey 2, Beasley), Floyd – 8- (Thompson 4, Neukirch 2, Sutphin, Moran