Williamsport guard Isaiah Washington punched the padded chair after injuring his hip against White Plains, N.Y. Hughesville coach John Myers paced outside the locker room following his team's game against West Philadelphia.
Both player and coach had to channel their frustration somehow. Both Williamsport and Hughesville did all they could to deliver big upsets at Saturday's Williamsport Coaches vs. Cancer Showcase. But both teams came up empty and these are teams that are hardly into moral victories.
Washington scored 27 points in the night's final game but White Plains built a 10-point halftime lead and held on for a 51-43 win. Hughesville overcame an 11-point third-quarter deficit and held a late fourth-quarter lead before losing to West Philly, 64-57.
Isaiah Washington of Williamsport tries an off-balance shot amidst multiple White Plains?(NY)?defenders Saturday night at Williamsport High School.
"The effort has been there the last two games and the guys are playing hard despite being a little short-handed," Williamsport coach Allen Taylor said. "I certainly can't question the effort, we just have to get these guys how to win these games against good opponents. Certain things you can get away with against other teams you cannot get away with against teams like White Plains."
"We just have to do a better job executing down the stretch. We've lost a lot of close games and I've said that when that happens that falls on the coach," Myers said. "I just told these guys they cannot quit on this season. We just have to keep pushing for the next day and for the next play, win or lose."
Washington was hobbled for a bit after landing hard on his hip while being fouled early in the third quarter. He came out twice but remained in the game and helped the Millionaires (6-7) rally from an 11-point fourth-quarter deficit as did Nyric Gosley. Williamsport pulled within six on three occasions, the last with 58 seconds remaining but could not complete the comeback.
The Millionaires forced White Plains (11-1) into several fourth-quarter turnovers and played some outstanding defense and just missed making it a one-possession game with 12 seconds remaining when Washington's attempted 3-pointer rolled out. Williamsport played its second straight game without injured second-leading scorer Maleak Benjamin but again hung tough with an elite team like it did Thursday at Hazleton.
Washington is the only player who had significant varsity experience last year, and that lack of experience showed at times last night. While Williamsport played hard, it struggled to execute offensively and made just 9 of 32 shots. Washington scored 15 of his 27 points at the foul line and was one of only two Millionaires to produce more than one field goal.
"A lot of the guys are getting caught up running the play and are not reacting to the defense. We have to get them to play more freely and not like robots," Taylor said. "We just have to do a better job running the offense and executing when the game is on the line."
White Plains went ahead to stay in the second quarter, scoring 21 points and hitting five 3-pointers. Sophomore Jordan Tucker hit buzzer-beating 3-pointers to end the second and third quarters and those shots loomed large in a game that was close in the final minutes. Tucker had a team-high 16 points, hit four 3-pointers and made all five of his shot attempts between the second and third quarters.
Gosley elevated his performance in the second half and offered a glimpse of how big he could be in the next few weeks. The sophomore point guard is still learning but was more aggressive in the final two quarters and was a big part of the team's comeback. Gosley scored six of his nine points in the second half and added five assists, five rebounds and four steals.
With Benjamin out for at least another week or so, Gosley becoming more of an offensive threat is critical to how Williamsport plays and last night might have provided a good start.
"Nyric is an important part of the team being successful and he has to be more aggressive now instead of just being a facilitator which is what we were asking from him earlier in the season," Taylor said. "He usually gives us good defense and now we need him to hit some shots and drive more in addition to facilitating."
Hughesville nearly facilitated an upset in the Showcase's second game, turning an 11-point third-quarter deficit into a 51-50 lead midway through the fourth quarter. The game was still tied with 1:50 remaining before Lavelle Harper scored on a runner that ignited a game-ending 12-4 run. It was another tough loss for the Spartans (4-12) who have suffered eight single-digit defeats.
"The guys definitely responded after going down. I can't say that they're not playing hard and giving everything they have," Myers said. "They never give up and always fight and that's the frustrating part because they work so hard and I want it so much for them."
Hughesville was giving up size and speed to West Philly (10-7) but played fearless as Tyler Mitcheltree scored 12 points, made four steals and grabbed six rebounds. Clint Snyder had 10 points and nine rebounds off the bench while Trey Smith scored 10 points and Sean Poust grabbed six rebounds.
White plains 51, Williamsport 43
White Plains (51)
Cameron Crabbe 1 1-1 3; Marshon Morris 2 1-5 5; Rexler Noel 2 1-1 5; Jordan Tucker 6 0-0 16; Justin Tapper 0 2-4 2; Terrance Scott 0 0-0 0; Mike Demello 4 4-6 14; Kevin Trapp 1 0-0 2; Chris Jordan 2 0-0 5. Totals 18 9-17 51
Shaukur Simmons 0 0-0 0; Nyric Gosley 2 5-8 9; James Earle 0 1-2 1; Stan Scott 0 0-0 0; Tyler Gardner 1 1-4 3; Jerah Reeves 0 0-0 0; James Chestnut 0 0-0 0; Isaiah Washington 5 15-18 27; Greg Johnson 0 0-0 0; Shadale Harman 1 1-1 3; Malik Washington 0 0-0 0. Totals 9 23-33 43
White Plains 9 21 10 11 - 51
Williamsport 10 10 9 14 - 43
Three-pointers: WP- Tucker (4); Demello; Jordan. W- Washington (2)
Record: Williamsport 6-8 Next game: Williamsport at Jersey Shore on Monday
West Philadelphia 64, Hughesville 57
West Philadelphia (64)
Quran Pheltz 2 0-0 4; Lamar Strand 1 2-3 4; Jabbar Shy 2 0-0 5; Tyquaan Bardlabens 6 1-1 13; Anthony King 0 1-2 1; Heath Harring 3 0-0 6; Lavelle Harper 8 0-0 19; Wayne Adams 0 0-0 0; Quiadifi Hill 2 1-5 7; Dominique Owens 2 1-2 5. Totals 26 6-15 64
Trey Smith 2 2-3 9; Clint Snyder 1 8-9 10; TYler Mitcheltree 4 3-4 12; Logan Henry 0 5-10 5; Landon Henry 1 3-4 5; Brady Kimble 3 2-2 6; Fred Newhart 0 2-2 2; Sean Poust 3 0-2 6; Ethan Duff 1 0-2 2. Totals 15 25-38 57
West Philadelphia 13 15 14 22 - 64
Hughesvill 18 8 14 17 - 57
Three-pointers: WP- Harper (3); Malone (2); Shy. H- Smith; Mitcheltree
Record: Hughesville 4-12 Next game: Southern COlumbia at Hughesville