WEST UNION, W.Va. – Basketball can best be described as a game of runs.
That’s exactly how you can describe Monday night’s game between the Ritchie County and Doddridge County’s boys basketball teams.
Ritchie County outscored the Bulldogs 20-3 in the first quarter. Doddridge then scored the opening 12 points of the second half. The Rebels followed with a 10-0 run to regain control.
Doddridge used another run in the fourth to cut the deficit to four points, 56-52, once again.
Ritchie County scored each of the next eleven points to seal the victory.
Free throws by Graden McKinney, and three-straight costly Bulldogs turnovers were part of that 11-0 run to close out the game for the Rebel, who defeated their rivals on their home floor, 63-52.
“Graden McKinney, as the game wears on, he gets better. And so, I thought he kind of took over there early in the fourth quarter. I told them when I called a timeout, I said, ‘You guys just got to start playing,'” said Ritchie County head coach Rick Haught. “We were sluggish. We started standing around. And that was getting us in trouble. They stepped up and did the things – hit the foul shots late – that they needed to do get this one tonight.”
McKinney led the way with a game-high 24 points. He was clutch in the fourth quarter, going 8-for-9 from the free throw line in the fourth quarter.
McKinney was joined by Ethan Haught (16 pts) as the only two Rebels in double-figures.
Three Bulldogs players scored eleven or more points on Monday, with Nathan Hart leading the way with a team-high 17 points. Isaac Ezell (14) and Connor Cunningham (11) were the other leading scorers for Doddridge County.
Ritchie County returns to action tomorrow, as part of a grueling stretch of its schedule.