By JIM NELSON
Bluefield Daily Telegraph
South Charleston withstood a furious Princeton rally to outlast the Tigers and escape with a 59-57 win in a Saturday matinee at the PSHS gym.
The Black Eagles built a nine-point halftime lead, then fought off a Princeton third-quarter surge to lead by 10, 48-38 entering the final stanza. They maintained a double figure lead until, midway through the final period, the Tigers made their final push.
Princeton’s Ryan Meadows hit an NBA-range three to kick-start the comeback, cutting the deficit to eight, 56-48 at the 3:48 mark. After a steal, Meadows scored in transition just moments later and the deficit was just six.
After a South Charleston miss, Meadows was fouled in transition and made both foul shots, then Hunter Walters drilled a three from the corner to bring Princeton to within one, 56-55 with about one minute left.
The Tigers couldn’t convert while shooting for the lead on their next possession, then South Charleston’s A.D. Cunningham hit a pair of foul shots to put the Black Eagles up by three.
Meadows trimmed the margin to one and, after South Charleston’s Brandon Knapper hit one of two foul shots with 10 seconds remaining, Meadows was fouled on a drive at the 2.8 second mark.
His first foul shot rimmed out. After a timeout, he intentionally misfired on the second free throw to give the Tigers a chance at the rebound and follow-up, but SC snagged the ball off the rim and walked away with a hard-earned win.
Hunter Moles paced the Black Eagles (1-0) with 16 points, including nine in the third quarter. Meadows scored a game-high 28 and Walters added 15 for Princeton.
The Tigers (1-1) open a busy stretch of games next week with a Tuesday trip to Winfield, followed by three straight home games, Thursday-Saturday.
At Princeton Senior High School
SOUTH CHARLESTON (1-0)
Harris 6, Kincaid 10, Cunningham 7, Knapper 3, Reese 5, Miles 16, Brown 2, Clark 10.
Lee 1, Meadows 28, Jennelle 3, Clements 1, Walters 15, Caron 7, Ferguson 2.
South Charleston..............16 17 15 11 — 59
Princeton...........................14 10 14 19 — 57
Three-point field goals — SC 4 (Kincaid 2, Moles 1, Harris 1); PSHS 5 (Walters 3, Meadows 1, Jennelle 1). JV game — SC won 71-57.