INWOOD — Washington’s quickness continually badgered Musselman. In outscoring the Applemen by 14 points in the second half, the Patriots squeezed the life out of the slower and more methodical Applemen. Letting them leave Berkeley County with a 74-53 win that lifted their record to 8-3 overall.
Musselman had seen only one other team with Washington’s quickness and aggressive nature. And that was unbeaten and No. 1-ranked Martinsburg, the other team to deal the Applemen a double-figure loss of more than 20 points this season.
With particular interest paid to Trevon Wesco, Musselman’s most consistent scorer, the Patriot defense closed off nearly all of the inside offense the Applemen tried to present. The perimeter shooting of R. J. Stephens, especially in the first half, kept the Applemen competitive. But Wesco’s off-target attempts weren’t helpful. And Washington had a seven-point lead by halftime.
When the second half began, Keldon Bell blistered the Applemen with his scoring and the Patriots ran off the first eight points of the quarter. It had been Jerome Jones providing much of the Washington scoring in the first half.
Another eight-point salvo gave the impetus to a 53-41 Washington lead after three quarters.
Washington had much the better of the rebounding. And it had fewer turnovers. The only problem sticking to the Patriots was their accustomed free throw miseries, where they would finish the 21-point win with only a 12-for-24 showing.
When the Patriots disrupted the Applemen badly enough at the outset of the last quarter to sprint away to a robust 65-44 lead, the verdict was in. And Washington had been disruptive enough and had used the 20 points of both Jones and Bell, as well as the sticky defense on Wesco by Christian Coles for an important Sectional win. Coles even found enough space and time to add 13 points to Washington’s scoring column.
So effective on the inside had Washington been that only eleven of Musselman’s 19 field goals had been of the two-point variety.
Quickness and quick off the floor rebounders had been Washington’s weapons of choice. And those weapons gave it a 21-point victory on the opponent’s home floor.