Bearcats lead from start to finish
WILLIAMSBURG – Huntingdon and Williamsburg both have important league games tonight and tomorrow, respectively, but neither team was looking past the other in their non-league matchup Wednesday.
Huntingdon (8-4) picked up its first road win of the season, edging the Blue Pirates 59-53 at the Williamsburg High School gym.
Nate Gearhart scored 22 points and pulled down 12 rebounds for a double-double to lead the Bearcats. Devon Claar scored in double digits as well with 15 points.
“We knew coming in it was a game between two evenly two teams. It was a battle,” Huntingdon coach Nick Payne said. “It was a great game. Williamsburg played us really, really hard. Give those guys credit.”
Huntingdon jumped out to an 8-0 lead and led from the opening tip to the final buzzer, but Williamsburg was within a bucket or two throughout most of the game.
A 9-0 run midway through the fourth quarter gave Huntingdon its first double-digit lead. Hudson Speck started the spurt with the Bearcat’s lone 3-pointer of the game and Gearhart followed with a pair of free throws.
After Speck scored again, Tanner Cook made a layup that gave the Bearcats a 52-38 lead.
Williamsburg (7-4) answered with a run of its own, outscoring the Bearcats 12-1 later in the fourth quarter to make it a one possession game with under a minute to play.
Peyton Brown knocked down a 3-pointer and Austin McMonagle scored back-to-back buckets driving hard to the rim. When Brown putback a Bryce Young miss with 38 seconds left on the clock, Williamsburg trailed just 53-50.
Gearhart converted 7-of-8 free throws after that, however, to seal the victory for Huntingdon.
“We chipped away at it,” Williamsburg coach Mike Farrell said. “The defensive intensity was there. Offensively, we played fairly well. We got some quality shots and were able to get some dribble penetration and fouls. We didn’t take advantage of our opportunities from the free throw line.”
The Blue Pirates finished 10-of-23 from the line. Huntingdon converted 18-of-33 free throws.
Young led Williamsburg with 13 points. He also had eight rebounds. Cody Palmer and Peyton Brown both had double-doubles. Each scored 11 points. Brown grabbed 11 rebounds and Palmer had 10.
Williamsburg plays Juniata Valley Friday for the top spot in the Inter-County Conference North Division. The two teams are tied for first place at 5-1.
“I’m pretty happy with the way we played overall, but we made some silly errors. We’ll have to fix those for the Juniata Valley game,” Farrell said.
Huntingdon looks to move up in the Mountain League with a game at Central tonight. Central currently leads Huntingdon by one game in the league standings.
“We’re getting better each time out. Central’s one of the top four teams in the Mountain League. They’ll be tough to beat,” Payne said.
HUNTINGDON (59): Cook 2 1-2 5, Claar 6 3-8 15, M. Speck 2 2-6 6, Frederick 2 2-5 6, Gearhart 6 10-12 22, H. Speck 2 0-0 5, Montgomery 0 0-0 0, Sulesky 0 0-0 0, Mitchell. Totals – 20 18-33 59.
WILLIAMSBURG (53): Biddle 3 0-0 6, McMonagle 3 2-5 9, Ross 1 0-0 3, Young 6 1-5 13, Palmer 4 3-5 11, Brown 3 4-8 11, Shaw 0 0-0 0. Totals – 20 10-23 53.
SCORE BY QUARTERS
Huntingdon16 14 13 16 – 59
Williamsburg12 12 12 17 – 53
3-point goals: Huntingdon 1 (H. Speck); Williamsburg 3 (McMonagle, Ross, Brown).
Records: Huntingdon (8-4); Williamsburg (7-4).
JV: 39-26, Huntingdon. High scorers-Sulesky 12 (H); Brown 14 (W).