FAYETTEVILLE – The Lynchburg-Clay Mustangs travelled to Fayetteville Friday night for a non-conference matchup against their Southern Hills Athletic Conference counterparts. In what proved to be a gritty, hard fought game saw the Rockets pull away in the third and hold on in the fourth to secure the victory, 70-57.
The first quarter was somewhat at a crawl as both teams missed shots early; after one period of play Fayetteville led by a score of 15 to nine. Tyler Stevens, Alex Barber and Raymond Conner each scored field goals in the quarter for the Mustangs as the Rockets were paced by four different players in their part of the frame.
The second quarter livened up a bit, as the Rockets added sixteen points to their total and the Mustangs countered with 13. At the half it was Fayetteville 31 and the Mustangs 22.
In the third quarter, Lynchburg-Clay would cut the Rockets lead to two points at around the 4:48 mark. A quick timeout by Fayetteville coach Jason Iles of the Rockets allowed them to regain composure, and the Rockets would end the quarter on a tear and take a 54 to 41 lead headed into the fourth quarter.
Although the Rockets built their lead up to as many as 17 points, Lynchburg-Clay would cut it to single digits multiple times throughout the fourth. The play of Bowen Doane and the grittiness of the Rockets would lead them to victory, as they secured the victory over the visiting Mustangs by a score of 70-57.
“Bowen Doane was the key to the basketball game, as simple as that, “said Lynchburg-Clay head coach Matt Carson. “I felt like we played hard, and so did they…they just made some more hustle plays and made a few more things happen on the defensive end. Credit coach Iles, he always has his teams ready and he has them playing hard right now. They’re going to be a tough out for a lot of people this year.”
The Mustangs were led by Raymond Conner’s 17 points. Conner finished the game with a double-double, as he also tallied 18 rebounds, four steals and five blocks. Noah Miller and 16 points, and Alex Barber added 13. Miller shot 50 percent from the field and Barber added four steals to his tally. Blake Marcelino, Chase Smaltz and Tyler Stevens all added three points a piece for the Mustangs, while Andrew Cumberland rounded out the scoring with two. On the night, the Mustangs hit six triples.
Fayetteville was led by the aforementioned Bowen Doane, who had 35 points and led all scorers on the night. Christopher Murphy added 15 points, while Levi Weiderhold added eight. Dalton Novak netted seven points in the contest, while Blake Coffman added three and CJ McCulley finished with two.
LC 9 13 19 13 54
FAY 15 16 23 13 70
LC – Conner 8 1-3 17; Miller 5 (1) 3-6 16; Barber 2 (3) 13; Marcelino 1 1-2 3; Smaltz (1) 3; Stevens (1) 3 – Totals 15 (6) 5-12 54.
FAY – Doane 12 (2) 5-7 35; Murphy 5 5-11 15; Wiederhold 3 2-5 8; Novak 3 1-3 7; Coffman 3-6 3; McCulley 1 2 – Total 24 (2) 16-32 70.
Matt Carson is the varsity boys basketball head coach of the Lynchburg-Clay Muatangs.