Willard Storms Back To Stun Shelby
For the second year in a row, Willard dug themselves into a huge halftime hole before storming back to beat their bitter rivals with a stunning 78-73 win over Shelby at Bob Hass Gymnasium.
The opening half belonged to the Whippets (13-2), who rode the hot hand of junior forward TJ Pugh to a monster first quarter lead. With Pugh pouring in 13 points in the first, Shelby raced out to a 29-5 advantage before a 10-2 Flashes run ended the frame with the score at 31-15.
Willard (13-2) senior guard Cooper Parrot would start to find his groove offensively in the second quarter, scoring eight of his 22 in the stanza, but the Whippets pushed their advantage out to 51-33 by the half.
In the third is where the Flashes made their move, outscoring Shelby 19-9 as Terry Baldridge Jr. posted eight Willard points and continued to win at the offensive end throughout the fourth. Despite Pugh going off for a game-high 30 points, including nine of the Whippets 13 fourth quarter points, the Flashes continued to chip away at the lead until they took a 69-68 edge with just under three minutes to go and never allowed Shelby to regain the lead.
Baldridge scored nine of his team-best 24 points in the fourth as Willard knocked down 12 of 18 free-throw attempts in the quarter to complete the massive comeback, outscoring their rivals 56-28 over the final 19 minutes of gameplay.
Joining Parrot and Baldridge in double-figures for Willard was Trey Paxton and Myles Pinkston with 10 points each. Grant Gossom and Cody Lantz each put up a dozen points to go along with Pugh's massive scoring night.