Woodrow, GW trending in different directions

Mar. 6—Woodrow Wilson will be looking to end a two-year state tournament absence Thursday night.

A familiar opponent stands in the way.

The Flying Eagles will host George Washington in a Class AAAA Region 3 co-final at the Beckley-Raleigh County Convention Center. Tip-off will be 7 p.m.

The winner will advance to next week's WVSSAC state tournament at the Charleston Coliseum and Convention Center.

The teams have engaged in some memorable games over the years, but GW has controlled the series in recent years. Woodrow's last win over the Patriots came on March 27, 2021, a 58-50 victory in Beckley.

That was GW's only loss in a run to the Class AAAA state championship. The Patriots defeated Morgantown in the title game; Morgantown beat Woodrow in the first round in the Flying Eagles' last Charleston appearance.

Since then, the Patriots have won the last six meetings against the Flying Eagles. That includes twice this season.

"You know, we wanna punch our ticket," Woodrow Wilson coach Rod Kidd said after last Friday's 88-60 win over Princeton for the Section 2 championship. "They (George Washington) are in our way of gettin' to our ultimate goal down at the state. The ultimate goal is winning, but you know, we gotta get there. We gotta win that game and get there, so they're in our way.

"That's the way our kids should think. We gotta play and get ready for them."

GW defeated Woodrow 60-57 Jan. 13 in Beckley, then 65-49 Feb. 15 in Charleston. Woodrow senior Elijah Redfern missed the first game, the last of seven games he sat out with a broken hand.

In the game at GW, Woodrow shot 29 percent from 3-point range and 38 percent overall.

Since that game, the teams have gone in different directions.

Woodrow (14-9) has won four straight games, the last three by an average of 32.7 points. The run started with a 72-67 win over Parkersburg South, a team that had won seven of its previous eight games.

That included a 59-49 win over George Washington two nights before.

Since beating Woodrow, the Patriots are 1-4. They fell to South Charleston 51-39 in the Section 1 title game, forcing them on the road for the region co-final.

Redfern leads the Flying Eagles with 19.1 points and 6.7 assists per game. Sophomore Coby Dillon has scored a team-high 355 points (14.6 per game) and is the team's top 3-point shooter, making 79 of 175 (45.1 percent). He also averages 2.0 steals.

Sophomore Zyon Hawthorne gives the Flying Eagles another double-digit scorer at 13.0 ppg and averages 4.9 assists. Junior Jaylon Walton is the team's top rebounder at 4.5 per game. He and sophomore Preston Clary both average 7.5 points.

Noah Lewis, a 6-foot-6 sophomore, leads GW (14-9) with 12.3 points and 7.6 rebounds per game. Dawson Lunsford is at 11.1 ppg and Chance Hartwell 10.3.

Woodrow's last postseason win over GW was on March 11, 2015, 63-55 in Beckley in a Class AAA Region 3 co-final. The Flying Eagles advanced to the state semifinals that season.

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