Mountaineers top Trojans

Wednesday, March 7, 2012
Going up strong Democrat Photo/Jared Lankford Skylar Knoll puts in a basket against Mt. Vernon on Saturday night. The Mountaineers won the district title contest. Knoll led the Trojans with 19 points.

The Mt. Vernon Mountaineers rode a 27-point performance by junior guard Shane Williams to a 60-49 victory over Southwest in the Class 3 District 12 championship game on Saturday night at Mt. Vernon. Williams scored 18 in the second half, and turned a 24-24 tie game into an 11-point runaway victory for the Mountaineers.

Mt. Vernon has had the upper hand on Southwest throughout Jason Horn's tenure at Washburn. Even though the Mountaineers defeated the Trojans 73-60 earlier in the season, Southwest came into this game poised to get the Mt. Vernon monkey off their backs. But after playing to a dead heat in the first half, they ran into the proverbial 800-pound gorilla.

Southwest jumped to a 14-11 lead at the end of the first quarter and led 19-15 when Jeff Elkins swished a trey at the 5:50 mark of the second period. The host Mountaineers forged a 24-24 tie at intermission on a Williams driving layup in the closing seconds of the half.

The Mountaineers, who are coached by Skip Brock, owned the third quarter, opening with an 11-0 run to shock the Southwest crowd. Skylar Knoll scored the final two baskets of the quarter to pull the Trojans within 43-33, but Jason Horn's team was in obvious peril.

Williams scored a dozen points in the third, and the foul count mounted against the Trojans as they struggled to limit Williams' touches and drives.

Knoll led a last-gasp comeback effort in the fourth quarter, and Southwest pulled within 5 points at 45-40. But Mt. Vernon extended the lead back to 14 points and then played ball control to secure the 60-49 win.

Southwest ended a stellar year at 23-5. Mt. Vernon improved to 22-5 and will play the Strafford Indians on Wednesday night at Willard.

Southwest scorers: Skylar Knoll, 19; Tyler Ferguson, 10; James Pettit, 6; Jeff Elkins and Josh Cutberth, 5 each; Jordan Epling, 4.

Mt. Vernon scorers: Shane Williams, 27; Chandler Myers, 13; Kaden Jones, 9; Luke Call, 7; and Skylar Phillips and Zane Phillips, 2 each.

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