Wiley’s 8th grade team uses late surge to beat Meadowlark Middle

Jalen Hickson, No. 32 in white, blocks the shot of the Meadowlark player.

Wiley’s 8th grade team uses late surge to beat Meadowlark Middle
February 02
02:30 2017

Photo by Timothy Ramsey



As the final minutes ticked off the clock in the game between Wiley and Meadowlark middle schools’ 8th grade game, the final was still up in the air. Thanks to Caden Davis dominating the fourth quarter for Wiley, they took home the victory 48-43.

Once the ball was tipped off in the first quarter, both teams were a bit erratic from the floor.  Missed shots, turnovers and defensive lapses all contributed to the low scoring in the quarter.  Jalen Hickson clogged up the middle, preventing any easy shots close to the basket from Meadowlark.  Later in the first, the Mustangs started to heat up from outside and hit a couple of big baskets to trim the deficit to four after one.

The frenetic pace continued to start the second quarter.  The turnovers continued along with both sides taking ill-advised shots.  The young men seemed to settle down a bit after a timeout.  For the rest of the quarter the defenses held the upper hand.  Meadowlark guard Carson Whitley hit a buzzer beater to end the half giving the Mustangs a 22-17 lead at the half.

Meadowlark head coach, Drew Beasley, said he was happy with the way the first half of play went for his team.  He said even though the Wolverines were a bigger team, his team fought hard.

“I looked my team in the eye and I told them we did two things just then, we played very well but we also angered the beast,” Beasley said.  “I told them we just made them as mad as they can be because they felt like they should be up by 20 points on us.  Telling my boys that they were gonna come at us with all they had kept them pumped up and kept them ready for the challenge.”

Wiley came out of the locker room and implemented a full court press on defense. The Wolverines began to create turnovers leading to easy break away layups.  The lead for the Mustangs was down to two after three quarters.

With the final still in jeopardy both teams played with more intensity to start the fourth quarter.  The lead changed hands multiple times.  Midway through the quarter Caden Davis began to take over.  Davis ran off six straight points to give Wiley a 43-35 lead with a little over two minutes remaining in the game.

Meadowlark did not give up and attempted to make a come back with just under a minute left in the game. Following an intentional foul called on Wiley the lead was trimmed to four.  They then closed the deficit to two.  The game was sealed from the free throw line as Davis was able to knock down clutch shots in the final seconds.

Dairl Scott Jr., Wiley head coach, says this was not his team’s best effort but was happy with the win.

“This game was alright for us.  We didn’t play our best ball but we did enough to get a road win,” Scott said.  “I told the guys that effort and defense were going to win the game.  That’s how you get road wins with effort, defense and rebounding.”

Scott went on to say that Davis is a great player and one of the best in the county.  He says they are lucky to have a player of that caliber on his team.  Going forward he thinks his team has to play harder in order to win.

Coach Beasley said he thought his team played hard and fearless.  He says many teams would have folded against such larger opponents but his team stepped up to the challenge and almost walked away with a victory.

“Our mantra this season is to stay fearless no matter who we play,” Beasley continued.  “We aren’t the biggest team so that is what we have to do.  We competed, we stayed brave and stayed fearless.  We looked those boys in the eye and said not today.  We just need to pick things up coming out of the half and we will be OK.”

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Timothy Ramsey

Timothy Ramsey

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