West Liberty knocks off Shaw
Harris leads Hilltoppers’ effort scoring 26 points
WORCESTER, Mass. -- Cedric Harris led the way with 26 points as West Liberty (32-2) pulled away down the stretch to defeat Shaw to win its second consecutive Atlantic Region title.
West Liberty built several double-digit leads in the first half but the Bears (27-4) held the hosts to just two points during the final six minutes of the half to take a 43-42 edge at halftime.
The lead changed hands several times in the early minutes of the second half before a 10-0 Hilltopper run put the Black and Gold ahead to stay, 57-51 with just under 15 minutes remaining.
West Liberty stretched the lead out to 10 points on several occasions but the Bears battled back to make it a one-possession game, 74-71 on a Malik Alvin 3-point play with 5:35 on the clock.
Shaw would come no closer as the Hilltoppers held the Bears to just two field goals the rest of the way. A 3-pointer from Alex Falk put the game on ice, 88-76 with just under a minute remaining.
C.J. Hester tallied a double-double -- 16 points and 10 rebounds -- while Falk scored all 14 of his points in the second half and Tim Hausfeld chipped in with 13 points.
Alvin led all scorers with 28 points while Tony Smith --19 points, 12 rebounds -- and Junius Chaney -- 13 points, 10 rebounds -- each had double-doubles in a losing effort.