March 14, 2012
Boys state tournament: Second-quarter surge sparks Wyoming East
Chip Ellis
Wyoming East's Taylor Smith (44) puts up a shot against Point Pleasant during Wednesday's Class AA quarterfinals.
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Wyoming East took advantage of Point Pleasant's early foul problems and rolled to an easy 90-53 victory in Wednesday's first Class AA quarterfinal of the boys' state tournament at the Civic Center.

Sixth-seeded Point Pleasant stayed with the No. 3 Warriors through most of the first quarter, but after Big Blacks forward Aden Yates went to the bench with his second foul midway through the quarter, Wyoming East's big men dominated.

Senior center Taylor Smith, who missed his first three shots while Yates was in the game, didn't miss another for the rest of the game. Smith went 9-of-12 from the floor and had a game-high 26 points.

Wyoming East (20-5) led 14-12 after the first quarter, then turned the close game into a rout by outscoring the Big Blacks 23-9 in the second.

"We knew if we got into a track meet with [Wyoming East], we'd be in trouble," said Point Pleasant coach Richie Blain. "We took a few shots way too quick and allowed them to get out and get transition baskets. Give Wyoming East credit. They have a lot of weapons."

With his team leading 37-21 at the half, Warriors coach Rory Chapman gave his players a simple halftime message: "Put them away."

"Throughout the year, we've had a problem getting big leads and then letting our opponents come back," Chapman said. "I told the guys they needed to play even better after halftime."

His players listened. With Smith and forward Marcus Schofield dominating the paint, Wyoming East outscored Point Pleasant 31-19 in the third quarter and 22-13 in the fourth. The Warriors made a blistering 79 percent of their field-goal attempts in the second half.

Two Wyoming East players ended up with double-doubles. Senior point guard Luke Campbell had 18 points and 10 assists, while Schofield scored 15 points and yanked down 10 rebounds. Sophomore guard Austin Canada chipped in 10 points.

Junior guard Dillon McCarty led Point Pleasant (16-10) with 15 points. Sophomore guard Wade Martin chipped in 10.

The Warriors will take on No. 2 Tug Valley in Friday's 9:30 a.m. semifinal. Wyoming East won the lone regular-season meeting between the teams 53-50 on a neutral court.

Reach John McCoy at 304-348-1231 or johnmc...@wvgazette.com.

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