Cabell Midland shows off its muscle against Fayetteville
ONA - For a knight in battle a shield is as important as a sharp sword.
For the Cabell Midland Knights boys basketball team its offense is the sharp sword, but its defense is the shield that proved to be just as effective in an 83-34 home win Saturday over the Fayetteville Pirates.
Cabell Midland (6-0) shielded Fayetteville (0-6) from the basket through tight man-to-man defense that forced the Pirates into turnovers and created fast-break points on the other end for the Knights. On offense, Cabell Midland proved to be faster, better under the basket, an overall better shooting team and committed only six turnovers.
The Knights opened the game with a 13-0 run including three straight 3-point baskets - two from Isaiah Collins and one by Jake Edwards. Cabell Midland’s streak also included Tyler Stroub grabbing an offensive rebound and getting the put-back.
Still, the defensive effort needed work from the standpoint of head coach Rick Chaffin who called a 30-second timeout less than 30 seconds into the game, and following a scoreless trip up the floor for the Pirates, to yell at his team.
Fayetteville got on the scoreboard with two foul shots by Luke Vass at 3:45 of the first period, but didn’t get its first field goal until Vass knocked down a three at 3:15 of the first quarter. By that time, Cabell Midland had an 18-5 lead.
By the end of the first half Cabell Midland had a 26-point lead. Fayetteville held the ball for the final 20 seconds of the half, but the Knights defense prevented the Pirates from even getting a shot off before the game clock expired.
The Knights’ defense was just as stifling in the second half and it allowed Fayetteville just 16 points the rest of the way.
The Pirates entered Saturday’s game averaging 47.5 points per game and the 34 points it scored was the lowest output of the season.
Vass, who connected on five 3-point shots - some from NBA range - led all scorers with 24 points but was the only offense Fayetteville had.
“We take a lot of pride in our defense,” said senior Ty Sturm who led Cabell Midland with 19 points. Sturm also had three dunks in the game including one set up by his own steal during an 11-0 run during the second period. “Our defense is the best in the state.”
Sturm said Chaffin has emphasized defense with Cabell Midland. Sturm estimated Knights’ practices will range from 70 percent to 80 percent focus on defense.
The Knights’ six-game winning streak has featured blowout wins over Grace Christian, South Point and Fayetteville. The streak has also included a 16-point win over Mountain State Athletic Conference foes Riverside and a 11-point win over Capital.
The Knights face a tough schedule coming up as they play Thursday at South Charleston, at home against Spring Valley on Saturday and a Jan. 8 visit to Hurricane.
FAYETTEVILLE 10 8 13 3 - 34: Vass 24, Mack 5, Dixon 2, Foster 3.
CABELL MIDLAND 26 18 22 17 - 83: Womack 4, Sturm 19, Riggio 6, Collins 12, Edwards 15, Schmidt 13, Marcum 6, Stroub 4, Holmes 2.