Midland falls to University 71-52
CHARLESTON — Cabell Midland knew it would need to play a solid allaround game to trip up University and advance to the Class AAA championship.
Unfortunately for the Knights, turnovers and foul trouble went hand-in-hand during Friday night’s boys basketball state semifinal contest.
Foul trouble plagued Cabell Midland from the onset and University scored 29 points off turnovers in a 71-52 win over the Knights at the Charleston Coliseum.
With the win, University (23-4) takes on Martinsburg in the Class AAA Championship at 7:15 p.m. on Saturday.
Kaden Metheny was the catalyst on both ends for University, finishing with 29 points, five steals and five assists in the win while guarding the primary ballhandler for the Knights, for which turnovers were too much to overcome.
University was able to get into a rhythm early on the offensive end to jump to a lead, then pressure the Knights into playing catch-up. That pressure worked as Cabell Midland ended the night with 18 turnovers, compared to just seven for the Hawks.
Cabell Midland trailed by 18 at the half, but cut the deficit to 10 after an early third quarter surge, started by Jake Edwards, who scored the first five points of the half and ended with 15 points and 10 rebounds.
Ty Sturm led the charge defensively with a pair of steals during the run, including one that led to a layup for Chandler Schmidt that cut the deficit to 35-29 with 5:07 left in the third, but Sturm picked up his fourth foul on a charge just 20 seconds later and the Hawks followed with a 10-0 run of their own to put the game out of reach.
University took control in the second quarter as turnovers started to mount for Cabell Midland, which helped the Hawks to a 36-18 lead at the break.
The Hawks forced eight turnovers during the final 3:40 of the first half, which enabled a 14-0 run that extended the lead to double-figures.
Foul trouble was at the center of the issues for the Knights as three starters picked up two fouls before the midway of the quarter.
The biggest of those was a reach-in foul on Schmidt, which forced him to the bench with two fouls at the 5:22 mark of the second quarter.
With Schmidt off the floor, University guard Kaden Metheny took over on the defensive end, forcing a pair of steals that led to five points, which forced Chaffin to bring Schmidt back into the game.
Less than a minute after he returned, Schmidt picked up his third foul on a charge.
With Schmidt back on the bench, Metheny and the Hawks went to work on both ends, forcing turnovers which led to points as the transition game got going.
Metheny was the primary defender on Schmidt and hounded him early, forcing the ball out of his hands.
Schmidt, who had 21 points in the overtime win over George Washington, did not have a field goal and had just one point at the break. He finished with 10 points.
Jaron Womack also scored 12 points for Cabell Midland, whose season ended at 19-8.
K.J. McClurg added 18 points and Rodney Bucklew had 11 for the Hawks in the win.
CABELL MIDLAND 11 7 17 17 — 52: Womack 12, Sturm 4, Edwards 15, Schmidt 10, Straub 5, Paugh 3, Marcum 3
UNIVERSITY 15 21 20 15 — 71: McClurg 18, Niceler 6, Metheny 29, Bucklew 11, Maumbe 7