Strong finale for Tigers

PHILIPPI – Earning a road victory over an area rival is just what Elkins coach John Lawson wanted out of his team on Tuesday night with the postseason on the horizon.

The first-year mentor got his wish as the Tigers held off a late Colt charge to claim a hard-fought 60-55 Big 10 Conference victory.

“This was a good win for us,” said Lawson, whose team was coming off a victory at Bridgeport on Friday. “It was a very emotional game and I was proud of how are kids kept their poise down the stretch.

“We had a lapse in the fourth quarter we had to overcome and the kids did just that.”

The Tigers appeared to be in total control of the contest after building a 45-34 lead on a 3-pointer by Logan Phillips in the third quarter, and carrying a 47-37 edge into the final frame.

But Philip Barbour answered with a 9-2 run to start the final canto as a trey from Tyler Schiefelbein cut the deficit to 49-46 with 5 minutes left in regulation.

The lead grew to seven but the Colts stayed within striking distance due to the Tigers’ struggles from the free-throw line as they missed 5-of-6 attempts at one point in the fourth quarter.

Braden Hammond, however, converted four straight free throws down the stretch, and missed just one of his 10 attempts to allow the Tigers to secure the win.

Hammond, a sophomore sharpshooter, finished with 18 points to pace Elkins. Logan Phillips added 17 and Colby Gainer 12. Tyler Shreve directed the offense from his point guard spot, dishing out seven assists to go along with seven points.

“Braden hit some key free throws when we needed them,” Lawson said. “And Tyler has really played well for us the last two weeks.”

Chance Price had 13 points, while Antonio Dalton and Quentin Mouser tallied 12 points each for the Colts, who dropped to 9-10 overall and 9-9 in Big 10 games.

Philip Barbour trailed 26-21 at halftime before using a 6-0 run to start the third to take a one-point lead on a basket by Dalton. The Tigers answered on the other end and never trailed again, closing the quarter on a 19-10 surge.

Philip Barbour will finish the regular season at 7:30 p.m. Friday at Buckhannon-Upshur.

Elkins (13-8, 9-7) will begin Class AAA sectional tourney action at 7 p.m. Wednesday, hosting Hampshire.