CUMBERLAND — Tylor Jessie is the only senior on the Allegany team but it would’ve been next to impossible to know it without a program at Friday night’s City League basketball game.
Jessie scored 14 points, Christian Thomas had 13 and Calman McKenzie and Carter Imes combined for 20 big points off the bench as the fourth-ranked Campers shook off a slow start for a win at third-ranked Bishop Walsh, 62-52.
Both teams are now 10-4, but the Campers took giant steps in the City and Appalachian Mountain Athletic Conference races. They are 1-1 in the City and 8-1 in the AMAC. Bishop Walsh slipped to 5-2 in the AMAC and is 0-2 in the City.
“This is a spectacular win and it’s just what we needed,’’ said Allegany coach Tedd Eirich. “A City win, on the road, against a very good team.”
Jessie also had 13 rebounds, three steals and two blocked shots for the Campers. McKenzie scored 11 points and had six rebounds while Imes had nine points.
Pat Jones scored a game-high 25 points and Greg Hendershot had four points, 11 rebounds and three blocked shots for the Spartans.
Allegany, starting a senior, two juniors and two sophomores, trailed 11-4 late in the first quarter, but outscored BW 14-5 in the second period for a 24-20 halftime lead and never trailed in the second half.
“I think we grew up tonight. They had guys that outmatched us defensively but we stepped up and played some real good defense. It was just a great effort.”
While Eirich felt his team grew up, BW coach Bob Boyle vowed his team wouldn’t give up after a tough luck first half of the City League season.
The Spartans were coming off an impressive 72-66 win at No. 5 Southern but a rash of turnovers — seven in the second quarter and six in the fourth — were too much to overcome.
“It was just the opposite of what we did at Southern,’’ said Boyle. “Tonight we had too many turnovers and missed free throws in the fourth quarter. No one stepped up at the end and took the game over. I think the effort was there, but some inexperience showed.”
Allegany answered every Bishop Walsh push in the second half. Early in the third quarter, Hendershot hit a jumper to cut it to 27-26, but Thomas scored four points and Trenten Eirich hit two fouls to make it 33-26. Billy Conroy swished a three-pointer to get the Spartans to within 35-33 with 2:00 left in the quarter, but McKenzie answered with a three-pointer just eight seconds later, and an Imes shot in the lane and a Jessie jumper had the Campers up 42-35 at quarter’s end.
In the fourth, BW got to within 46-42 after a Jones three-pointer with 6:20 left, but the Spartans had five turnovers and missed the front end of a one-and-one over their next six possessions.
Jumpers by Eirich and Hunter Marrale and a pair of buckets inside by Jessie helped Allegany to its first double-figure lead, 52-42, with 3:07 left. The closest the Spartans got the rest of the way was six, despite seven Camper turnovers in the period. They had only eight over the first three periods.
Jessie stood out in the fourth quarter with six points and six rebounds.
“Tylor is our only senior and he played like it,” Eirich said. “He plays like a man in there and there’s not enough good things to say about him.
“We’ve been mixing and matching people all year, trying to find out what works for us,’’ he said of getting 20 points and six rebounds from McKenzie and Imes off the bench. “Both played really well. Carter played his best varsity game and gave us a big boost that we needed.”
“We had a height advantage but we got outplayed inside,’’ admitted Boyle. “And their guards were beating us, too. We’re normally a very good defensive team, but a number of times we were getting beat on the first step.”
Bishop Walsh could use a boost after a difficult two weeks. Both City losses were by 10 points, and in the first one the Spartans lost 6-foot-6 Quincy Redmon (knee) and 6-4 Shannon Redmon (ankle) to injuries. Quincy is out for the season and will undergo surgery this week. Shannon may be able to start working out in a few weeks.
Allegany won the jayvee game 38-32. Colton Sivic had 13 points for the Campers and Brandon Reed had 12 for the Spartans.
Allegany plays at Keyser on Tuesday and Bishop Walsh will travel to Northern on Friday.
Mike Mathews is a Cumberland Times-News sportswriter. He can be reached at email@example.com