Basically a team with six effective players to begin with, Washington had that number reduced by one for its important Sectional game against Martinsburg. Three-year regular Kendell Smith was missing with a leg injury.
The Bulldogs don’t have a numbers problem. They have possibly the deepest team in the state. Generally, 10 players score, 10 players contribute to a Martinsburg win.
Except for losses to Morgantown on the road and Villa-Angela St. Joseph from Cleveland that had only two defeats, Martinsburg passes opponents with its depth and its overall well of stamina.
The Bulldogs still had just two losses after giving their depth a chance to calm the Patriots during the second half of a 61-42 win last Tuesday before a quieted full house at Washington.
The Patriots had little or no room for error.
They needed room for error and some ways to keep pace with the fresh faces and fresh legs the Bulldogs kept throwing at them.
With just a five-point halftime lead, Martinsburg then outscored Washington, 20-10, in a break-it-open third quarter.
The Patriots had scored 21 points in the first half, and they scored 21 points in the second half. Low-scoring consistency was not going to beat Martinsburg.
Even Keldon Bell’s 22 points (and four long-range three-pointers) weren’t going to be nearly enough. The other four Washington starters combined for only 20 points. The Patriots averaged only slightly better than three field goals per quarter, finishing with 14 and tarnishing their chances for an upset by making just 9-of-17 free throws.
Martinsburg forward Donte’ Grantham had 13 of his team’s 26 first-half points. He added only three points in the second half, but had first-seen scoring help from Elisha Freeman, Jamel Lewis, Jordan Robinson, and Eugene German.
Washington went to 10-4 overall and 2-2 in games against Sectional foes. The Bulldogs improved to 14-2 overall and 5-0 in Sectional games.
There once were five-and-ten-cent stores that were a treat with their variety of items. The five (Washington players)-and-ten (Martinsburg players) game just played was not a treat for the Patriots.