Sectional Champs

Philip Barbour High School guard Austin Upton, a senior, goes for a layup against Petersburg on Saturday. The Colts won to claim the Region I Section 1 championship

PHILIPPI — Class AA No. 5 Philip Barbour didn’t quite reach the team’s average of 82 points per game on Saturday, but the Colts were still able to fend off a late run by Petersburg in order to defeat the visiting Vikings 78-71 for a Region I Section 1 championship.

“We didn’t shoot that well, but you will have nights like that when things kind of tighten up deeper into tournament time,” PBHS coach Marcus Johnson said. “Petersburg played like a feisty group, and they hung around to still be in it late in the game.

“We started getting into a rhythm in the third quarter to build a decent lead, and David (Shriver) hit a couple late 3-pointers in third that also helped. Petersburg hit some big threes in the fourth. I mean we had hands in their face on some of them, and they were shooting from like 5 or 6 feet behind the arc,” he said.

Johnson said a win is a win no matter if it was fancy or not, and that he was pleased with his team’s effort to find a way to get the victory.

Opening period scoring was level with 11 a piece, before PB pushed ahead, 19-14, in the second for a 5-point advantage at the half. The hosts once again outdid the visitors with a 24-17 third frame to lead 54-42 heading into the final 8 minutes.

Philip Barbour High School guard Austin Upton, a senior, goes for a layup against Petersburg on Saturday. The Colts won to claim the Region I Section 1 championship

Petersburg trailed by 17 points with 3:31 to go in the game, and outscored PBHS 29-24 in the fourth. They had cut the deficit to 73-68 with 26 seconds to go, and with 16 seconds remaining, the Vikings were only down by 4 points at 75-71. Petersburg had no choice but to foul.

PB made a foul shot, and on the ensuing play, Colts sophomore Levi MacAdam stole the ball and took it to the hole to help secure the victory for PBHS.

“I can’t say enough about the heart that our team showed tonight,” Petersburg coach Todd Heare said. “We got down by 14 or so there, but our kids fought back and never gave up. We found ways to get some late buckets after struggling through some shooting woes. We found our shot there in the end, and if we would have found it earlier, things may have been different.

“We’ve had pretty consistent shooting for the most part this year,” he said. “We have a team, we have no individuals. We show up every night, and have a different leading scorer almost every night. Our score book shows that we have five or six guys averaging close to or over double digits. This year has been a vast improvement, and these kids will just keep getting better.”

Spencer Hudkins tied for a game-high 18 points to go along with his 5 boards, 5 assists and 3 steals. Cole Whited notched his latest double-double with 15 points and 13 rebounds, while Shriver canned 15 points. Shriver also added two more blocked shots into PB’s rejection bin.

MacAdam came off the bench for 12 points, while Austin Upton recorded 11 in the score column, 8 boards and 3 assists. Noah Price worked the paint for 7 points and 5 rebounds.

Trad Harman led the Vikings in points with 18, and dished out 4 assists. Drew Michael drained all 15 of his points from 3-point range and stole the ball three times. Mark Burkholder also nabbed 15 points plus 7 boards, while Cody Southerly snatched 7 rebounds to go with his 8 points. Blake Landis chipped in with 4 steals.

With the best record in school history at 21-3, Philip Barbour is on a 14-game winning streak, having not lost a contest since Jan. 19. The Colts will host No. 9 North Marion (15-9) at 7 p.m. Wednesday for a co-regional championship game. The winner of that contest will earn a berth into the state playoffs, while the loser’s season will come to an end.

The Vikings are in a similar boat, and will have a huge challenge ahead on Wednesday when they are set to be at No. 1 Fairmont Senior (21-3) for a 7 p.m. tipoff in the other co-regional title match.