Will Shively has been a four-year starter for Jefferson High’s boys basketball team. He had a full freshman season before the COVID-19 pandemic abbreviated the 2020-21 season.
Since then, Shively, who now works the perimeter a lot, has continued to get better with each passing game. He’s developed into a consistent scorer.
In the Cougars’ 60-47 win over Hampshire High on Wednesday, Feb. 15, at Shenandoah Junction, Shively scored his 1,000th career point. Five minutes into the game, Shively had his breakthrough moment when he nailed his third straight 3-pointer.
“It means a lot,” Shively said of his major achievement. “I’ve worked very hard for it. These past four years have actually been great.”
Shively, who has committed to play for NCAA Division III-Hood College (Frederick, Maryland) next fall, hit on eight total field goals, including four 3-pointers. He was 1 of 2 from the foul line and finished the game with a game-high 21 points. He also had six rebounds.
“I was glad to see him get his 1,000th point in this game,” Jefferson coach Richard Lewis said of Shively’s fete. “He only had nine points in the Spring Mills game so he only needed six to go over the 1,000-point mark. He’s had a great career, all-state two out of four years.”
Lewis said he thinks Shively will make all-state status a third time, as well as all-Eastern Panhandle Athletic Conference for a third time. “Yes, he’s had a great career, but he’s not done yet,” Lewis said. “We’d like to see him get a third-straight regional championship added to his resume.”
Shively’s effort against the Trojans helped to set up Jefferson (14-6) for its final few games of the regular season, all on the road. The Cougars completed its home-and-home sweep of Spring Mills High with a 50-43 win on Valentine’s Day at Spring Mills, defeated Musselman High last Friday night at Musselman, 82-51, and will seek to avenge an earlier loss to the Hedgesville Eagles tonight at Hedgesville High in the regular-season finale.
Jefferson High has the first-round bye in the Class AAAA, Region II, Section II playoffs, and will host the Washington at Musselman High knockout-round winner next week. The Cougars have won two straight regional co-championships, making it all the way to the WVSSAC Class AAAA semifinals last year.
Shively knows the task ahead won’t be an easy one.
“We just have to keep playing our ball, play both sides of the floor like we’ve been doing and continue to control the (Eastern) panhan dle like we’ve been doing,” Shively said.
Hampshire gave Jefferson High some problems early in the game, but Shively’s three 3-pointers early in the first quarter, including two straight, helped give the Cougars the momentum they would need to move past the Trojans. Jefferson opened up a 23-15 lead after the first quarter and led at halftime, 42-26.
“We got into a couple of different defenses to see how they would work,” Lewis said, regarding the win over Hampshire. “When we found a good one, we stuck with it. I thought we mixed things up pretty good against Hampshire High. We threw them off balance, forced them into some turnovers.”
Jamari Jenkins had 11 points for Jefferson High in the Hampshire game. Kylan Johnson had 10. Wyatt Shively added six rebounds for the Cougars.
PATRIOTS PREP FOR SECOND SEASON
After winning just three games in the regular season, Washington is hoping for better results in the post-season.
The Patriots closed out their regular season last Thursday at home, falling to the Fort Hill Sentinels (Cumberland, Maryland), 77-53. The loss to Fort Hill came two days after Washington High nearly pulled out a home win over the Musselman Applemen.
Instead, Washington dropped a 56-52 decision to Musselman. The Patriots now have nine days off before traveling to Inwood to face the Applemen again, this time in a sectional knockout-round game on Tuesday, Feb. 28.
“We’re pretty much going back to basics,” Washington coach Trent Hilliard said after last Thursday’s loss to Fort Hill High. “We’re going to fine-tune a few things, work on our screens. That’s been an issue for us lately, which really shouldn’t be an issue.”
Fort Hill High took advantage of the Patriots’ less-than-stellar performance last Thursday, opening up a 24-7 lead after quarter and leading at the half, 43-21. The Sentinels continued to build on their lead in the second half.
“We just laid an egg in this game against Fort Hill,” Hilliard said.
Kris Doleman and Chance Zimmerman each had 11 points for Washington against the Sentinels. Josh McCarthy had nine points for the Patriots.
Washington had a chance to defeat Musselman, but was hampered with costly turnovers at crucial times. Hilliard looks for a close game in the sectional playoffs when the Patriots face Musselman for a third time.
“It should be a good one,” Hilliard said of the upcoming game. “They know who we are, we know who they are. We’ll just have to wait and see how it all plays out.”
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