By GARY DOVE
Bluefield Daily Telegraph
The host Princeton Tigers fought off several PikeView charges to capture the Alpha Natural Resources Holiday Tournament championship last night on the Ralph Ball Court at Princeton High School.
The Tiger front court tandem of Zen Clements and Aaron Ferguson scored seven and six points respectively in the first quarter to propel Princeton to a 17-8 advantage at the end of that opening chapter.
Princeton’s Ashton O’Dell and Ian Southcott added a three pointer each around Bradley Flinchum’s deuce for the Panthers to start the second period, extending the advantage to 23-10, the biggest lead of the evening by the Tigers.
Flinchum keyed eleven consecutive PikeView points to close the gap to 23-21 with 3:56 showing in the half before the Tigers closed out the half on a 9-2 run, led by Jay Palmer’s five and four more from Ferguson.
Southcott added a goal to start the second half and move the advantage to 34-23 before another Panther charge, this one 14-5, cut the deficit to 39-37 heading into the final eight minutes.
Jason Weitzel and Austin Hazelwood scored five points each in that run for the now 2-3 Panthers.
Zach Meadows’ goal from a Weitzel assist cut the count to 44-41, but that would be as close as the View would get the remainder of the way.
Analyzing the Tigers’ ability to retake the momentum after PikeView made those runs, Princeton head coach Ernie Gilliard related, “That was huge for us. It represents growth by us (to withstand those runs).”
He continued, “Before the season, we knew we would experience those because we have a young team.”
Assessed second year Panther head coach Lindsey Jones, “Princeton did a good job in their half court offense. They were patient and worked the ball well for their shots.”
Fouls played a major part for both clubs, as Clements picked up his third personal at the 5:52 mark of the second frame and then was charged with his fourth only 38 seconds later, before he could come out of the game.
He missed the entire third chapter, while Ferguson picked up his fourth foul midway through the fourth.
However, despite those woes, neither fouled out.
Instead, Flinchum and Zach Meadows both were banished with five personals for the Panthers in the final period.
Princeton, now 2-3, will host Winfield next Friday, while the likewise 2-3 Panthers will visit Liberty Raleigh also on Friday.
The Tigers placed a quartet in double figures scoring, led by Ferguson’s 15. Clements added 11, while Colton Fix and Palmer contributed 10 apiece.
Weitzel took game scoring honors with 17, with Hazelwood and Flinchum tossing in a dozen each.
At Ralph Ball Court
Austin Hazelwood 5 0-0 12, Seth Meadows 1 0-0 2, Bradley Flinchum 2 8-12 12, Tanner Farley 2 0-0 4, Jason Weitzel 7 1-1 17, Zach Meadows 1 1-2 3. Totals 18 10-15 50.
Colton Fix 4 2-4 10, Ian Southcott 3 0-0 8, Jay Palmer 4 0-0 10, Zen Clements 5 1-3 11, Ashton O’Dell 1 1-2 4, Aaron Ferguson 6 3-5 15. Totals 23 7-14 58.
PikeView............................8 15 14 13 — 50
Princeton.........................17 15 7 19 — 58
3-point goals: PV 4 (Weitzel 2, Hazelwood 2). P 5 (Southcott 2, Palmer 2, O’Dell 1).
Fouled out: PV (Flinchum, Z. Meadows).
Field goal shooting: PV 18-45 40.0 %, P 23-48 47.9%.
Three point shooting: PV 4-22 18.2%, P 5-19 26.3%.
Rebounds: PV 23 (Farley 5, Z. Meadows 5), P 33 (Ferguson 11, O’dell 7).
Turnovers: PV 13, P 12.