CUMBERLAND — Third-ranked Fort Hill had a little revenge on its mind and a hunger for a slice of the City championship Friday night.
And the Sentinels got both in a big way in a 58-50 City shocker over top-ranked Bishop Walsh, creating the first three-way tie for the league crown in nearly 20 years.
Dalton Gaus scored 23 points, hit 9 of 11 foul shots and grabbed nine rebounds for the Sentinels, who never trailed in the second half against a team they had lost to by 29 points earlier in the year.
Sidney Carroll and K’shaun Powell had eight points, Travis Bush seven and Jarrett Wolfe six points and 10 rebounds, the final one being the 400th of his career.
“The City championship was definitely on our minds, but so was the stigma of losing at BW by 29 points and have people telling us we couldn’t win this game,’’ said Fort Hill coach Thad Burner.
“Dalton did a great job working to get his shot and also was able to get to the foul line, which is huge, because he’s shooting 85 or 86 percent from the line. He was aggressive, looked for his shot, and when they came out on him he attacked the basket strong.”
It was the first three-way tie in the City League since 1995. Fort Hill is 10-10 overall and 9-5 in the Appalachian Mountain Athletic Conference. BW is 18-7 overall and 11-2 in the AMAC.
Quincy Redmon had 19 points, 10 rebounds and three steals to lead the Spartans. Liam Rhodes added 17 points and Chris Scarlett had nine points, four assists and three steals.
But BW, which had beaten Fort Hill 77-48 in January, never found a rhythm on offense. They shot just 14 for 41 from the field, were 2 for 20 from the three-point line, and out-rebounded 35-24.
“We didn’t attack the basket, and we didn’t rebound well. No one seemed to go to the boards at all, except for Quincy, and he couldn’t do it by himself,” said BW coach Bob Boyle.
“Fort Hill was hitting their shots and we weren’t. And for a long period they out-hustled us. It’s very disappointing.”
Gaus gave the Sentinels a 25-24 halftime lead with a baseline drive in the final seconds of the second quarter, then began the third quarter with a jumper from the corner.
A Wolfe tip-in and a David Proietti bucket after a drive and dish by Bush made it 33-26 with 4:41 left in the third, which ended with the Sentinels up 40-35.
Bishop Walsh got to within 42-41 early in the fourth quarter, and had the ball several times with a chance to tie or take a lead with a three-pointer midway through the period, but each time the Sentinels had an answer.
“As poorly as we played, I thought it was still right there for the taking,’’ Boyle said. “But we’d have a turnover or something and they’d come back with a big shot and were able to keep the lead.”
When it was 42-41, Wolfe and Gaus hit shots in the lane. After Redmon made one of two free throws to cut it to 46-44, Gaus countered with two of his own. After a foul shot by Scarlett made it 48-45, Gaus drilled a three-pointer and Carroll sank four straight free throws to push the lead to 55-45 with 1:05 left.
“We played four quarters. One of our problems all year has been we haven’t been able to finish,’’ said Burner. “Tonight we did. We had good fourth-quarter play from everyone.”
Fort Hill won the junior varsity game 58-43. Jacob Painter led a balanced attack with 16 points, Kris Jackson had 14, Rekus Laws 11 and Tyler Smallwood 10. Garrett Shaffer had 15 and Zach Conroy 12 for Bishop Walsh.
Fort Hill hosts Keyser on Monday and ends the regular season Wednesday at Frankfort. Bishop Walsh plays again Tuesday at Southern.
Mike Mathews is a Cumberland Times-News sportswriter. Write to him at firstname.lastname@example.org