Nicely Key In 71-52 Victory

Posted: December 12, 2012

HARRISONBURG – After the game, Spotswood High School coach Chad Edwards singled out Austin Nicely, a 6-foot-2 senior forward who had been knocking off the rust of sitting out basketball last season. The coach’s message was simple: “Welcome back.”

On a cold-shooting night overall in which SHS junior guard Tucker McCoy was limited to one point in the first half, Nicely provided a double-double boost with 13 points and 10 rebounds to help the Trailblazers upend Harrisonburg 71-52 in their Valley District opener Tuesday.

“He absolutely stepped up tonight when we needed him to,” Edwards said.

Weiler scored a game-high 21 points for Spotswood (5-0 overall, 1-0 in the Valley), which let HHS hang around until a 21-5 run in the fourth quarter put a three-point game out of reach.

“A win like this just gives us confidence because it means we can keep our composure in a tight situation,” Weiler said. “And even when some of our best scorers aren’t hitting, we’ve got plenty of guys who can step up.”

McCoy, though, came alive in the third quarter. The Blue Streaks (1-5, 0-2) opened the period on a 6-0 run to take a 31-28 lead on a Seth Kardos layup at the 3:55 mark. Then, McCoy finally shook his 0-fer start with a basket and converted a layup on the ensuing possession off a long down-court pass from Weiler in transition to put SHS back ahead for good, 32-31.

“We just keep giving him the ball, because he’s going to find a way to score,” Weiler said of McCoy, who scored 10 of his 17 points in the third quarter after struggling against HHS’s matchup zone.

Kardos netted 12 points, but it was sophomore Damien Sampson sparking the Streaks with a team-high 17 off the bench, including nine in the fourth quarter.

HHS cut the deficit to 45-43 on a Sampson 3-pointer with 6:09 left. But Nicely answered on a pass inside from McCoy as SHS began its dominant finish.

“We competed, I thought, until about three minutes left,” said HHS coach Scott Joyner, who pointed to turnovers and poor shot selection in potential momentum-changing situations down the stretch. “You know, we’re getting there. They’re buying in. If we put four quarters together, who knows?”

Brian Rodriguez hit a 3-pointer during the late Spotswood run. Besides that, a free throw from Kardos and Max Johnson were the only HHS interruptions. The Blazers scored 30 points in the fourth quarter.

“Just in the huddle, it was exciting to me to see the seniors – the look in their eye of determination and confidence that we were going to find a way to win the game despite it not going the best for the first three quarters,” Edwards said of Spotswood’s first road game. “… In a strange way, I gained even more confidence in my team.”


McCoy 6 4-7 17, Nicely 6 1-3 13, Garber 3 0-0 6, Weiler 7 6-6 21, Lokey 0 3-4 3, Detamore 0 2-4 2, Blandon 3 0-0 6, Lasam 1 0-0 3. Totals 26 16-24 71.


Rodriguez 2 0-0 5, Kardos 5 2-5 12, Alford 2 0-0 4, Royer 1 0-0 2, Whitelow 1 0-0 2, Sampson 6 2-4 17, Johnson 2 1-2 5, Phillips 1 2-2 5. Totals 20 7-13 52.

Spotswood        15     13     13    30 - 71    
Harrisonburg     10     14     12    16 - 52  
3-Point Goals—Spotswood 3 (McCoy, Weiler, Lasam), Harrisonburg 5 (Sampson 3, Rodriguez, Phillips). Fouled Out—None. Rebounds—Spotswood 33 (Nicely 10), Harrisonburg 27 (Alford, Whitelow 7). Total Fouls—Spotswood 19, Harrisonburg 20.

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