Flying Eagles rally past Cabell Midland, 62-55
ONA — Ben Gillian had one job and he did it well.
The Woodrow Wilson big man came off the bench charged with rebounding and did just that, pulling down 15 to go with six points as the Flying Eagles (6-5) defeated Class AAA No. 6 Cabell Midland 62-55 at the Castle. Gillian helped Woodrow Wilson to a 34-32 rebounding edge.
“Our rebounding was awesome,” Flying Eagles coach Ron Kidd said. “Big 24 (Gillian), that’s what we put him in for. He rebounded well and he made a couple of good moves to score down there.”
Danny Bickey also made several strong moves, scoring a game-high 23 points to go with six rebounds. Bryce Radford scored 17.
The victory was the second key win this week for Woodrow Wilson, which beat St. Albans 67-62 on the road on Tuesday. Kidd hopes those triumphs are a sign of a strong finish to the season for his team.
“On the road, we needed a win like this,” Kidd said. “This is a great win for our confidence. We know Cabell Midland is a good team. They’re a very good team. All our kids played well tonight. It was a total team effort.”
The Knights (8-2) led much of the first half, but never by more than four points, and went to the locker room at halftime up 32-31. The final of the game’s nine lead changes took place at 6:22 of the third quarter when Bickey drove the lane for a basket to give Woodrow Wilson a 35-34 lead it never relinquished. That basket started an 11-1 run that left the Flying Eagles ahead 44-35 with 3:21 left in the period, but Cabell Midland rallied within 47-45 by the end of the quarter.
Woodrow Wilson came out hot in the fourth period, as Bickey made a 3-pointer and Gillian and Radford each made a 2-pointer to push the lead to nine points. Gillian’s basket with 3:30 to play gave the Flying Eagles their largest lead at 58-47. The Knights pulled within 60-55 on a 3-pointer by Chandler Schmidt with 39 seconds left, but moved no closer.
“We wanted a good game and it was a good game,” Cabell Midland coach Rick Chaffin said. “The key for us is to keep getting better by tournament time.”
Kidd said he thinks Woodrow Wilson was on the right court at the right time, with the Knights coming off a 58-49 victory over archrival Huntington High on Tuesday. That win broke a 19-game losing streak to the Highlanders and was the Knights’ first in the series since Jan. 13, 2010.
“We might have caught them just right,” Kidd said. “Anytime you play a rivalry game, you can have a hard time the next game, so we might have caught them at the right time. For us, it was good to see our kids show up and play a full 32 minutes.”
Ty Sturm led the Knights with 15 points. Schmidt scored 14 and Jake Edwards grabbed 11 rebounds.
WOODROW WILSON 12 19 16 15 — 62: Radford 17, Ince 7, Gillian 15, Hancock 6, Bickey 23, Law 3.
CABELL MIDLAND 16 16 13 10 — 55: Womack 2, Sturm 15, Riggio 2, Collins 2, Collins 3, Edwards 7, Schmidt 14, Paugh 4, Straub 8.