Minutemen rally past Tigers

John Riley scored 24 of his game-high 32 points in the second half and Lewis County used a big third-quarter run to rally past previously unbeaten Elkins 54-45 Thursday evening in Big 10 Conference action at Richard P. Simmons Memorial Gymnasium.

Riley also had 16 rebounds for the Minutemen (5-2).

Lewis County trailed 28-14 at halftime before the visitors outscored the Tigers 22-4 in the third quarter to build a 36-32 lead entering the final quarter of play.

Riley finished the quarter with 10 points.

“We changed some things around at halftime,” Lewis County coach Charles Simms said. “We switched to a different offensive set and it seemed to work. Riley really played well this evening and came up big for us.”

Elkins started the fourth quarter on a 5-0 run to regain a 37-36 lead on a L.J. Lawrence jumper with 7:04 left in the game.

The Minutemen answered back as Riley, who had 14 points in the quarter, hit one of two free throws that started an 18-8 run over the last seven minutes of contest.

Elkins led 17-7 after the first quarter of play.

Skylar Carlton added 10 points for Lewis County.

“This was a big win for us since (Elkins) is a conference and sectional opponent,” Simms said. “We knew coming in who they had and we had a feeling it was going to be a challenge for us, they are a very good team and well coached team.”

Logan Phillips had 16 points, while Lawrence added nine points for the Tigers (7-1).

Colby Gainer added eight points for Elkins.

“First half I thought we played real well and set the tempo early,” Elkins coach John Lawson said. “Second half we struggled and Lewis County came out and played very well.”

Lewis County host Buckhannon-Upshur on Tuesday for a Big 10 Conference matchup at 7:30 p.m.

Elkins visits Fairmont Senior on the same day for a conference matchup at 7:30 p.m.