The West Holmes Knights have produced a very Oreo cookie-like season with a different middle jammed in between two similar outsides, and that might be a good thing.
Keith Troyer’s crew began the season with three straight victories, then fell on hard times throughout the middle of the season when it went 2-14. However, the end of the season has seen the Knights pull together to reel off three straight wins to end the regular season at 8-14 overall.
More importantly the Knights seemed to have found a few crucial elements along the way and now seem poised to become a dangerous underdog in the tournament.
Their latest victory came at the expense of Norwayne. The Knights traveled to Norwayne High School on Friday, Feb. 23 to face a solid Bobcats team.
West Holmes darted to a 27-17 lead through the first period, only to see Norwayne claw its way back in the second frame. The Bobcats went on a huge run and took a 37-36 advantage into the locker room after having fallen behind by double figures.
It could have been easy for West Holmes to crumble, but instead a concerted team effort allowed the Knights to crawl back on top early in the period and maintain a three-point lead going into the fourth quarter.
It was there that the Knights played extremely well in putting away Norwayne. With Chase Wells distributing the ball, the Knights made good at the free throw line when they had to and pulled away for the 78-65 victory.
West Holmes had to overcome some hot shooting from Norwayne from downtown, where the Bobcats connected on 10-of-22 three-point attempts. Norwayne’s Quinn Hiles was the biggest culprit, draining six triples on his way to a game-high 25 points. Ben Draper also nailed two long balls while posting 13 points, and five other Bobcats tossed in three-balls.
However, the Knights got some balanced scoring across the board, led by Chase Wells’ 19-point effort that included three triples. In addition he doled out seven assists, and West Holmes has experienced a huge amount of success when the senior point guard is finding his teammates.
Another big reason for the Knights’ late-season surge is the play of junior center Shane Jones. Jones scored 18 points on 8-of-9 shooting, and West Holmes’ improved play coincides with Jones looking to take on a more active scoring role.
Sophomore gunslinger Chance Wells heated up to the tune of 18 points, adding a game-high seven rebounds and three treys. Senior guard Bryce Myers rounded out West Holmes’ double-digit scorers, popping in 14 points including a pair of 3-pointers. Jacob Goudy added six points, and Ethan Kinsey chipped in with three to round out West Holmes’ offensive attack.