BY MIKE RILEY
As the old saying goes — “When rivals meet, you can throw stats out the window.”
But here’s one statistic that cannot be ignored — Charlestown shot 14-of-27 from 3-point range.
And with that, what was expected to be a close game Tuesday between Clark County rivals Charlestown and New Washington wasn’t, as the Pirates came away with a 74-52 victory at the Charlestown Sports Arena.
The 14 treys were a school record, breaking the previous record of 12. The new record came after Charlestown coach Sean Smith adjusted his lineup in recent games.
“I know that I’ve got some guys that can shoot the ball and figured maybe there would be some nights when everyone was on,” Smith said. “We’ve been trying to get Aaron [Daniel] and Chris [Braun] off the ball more. Gage Martin has really stepped up for us. He might be the answer. I don’t know how many assists he had tonight, but sometimes one player can change the dynamics of a team, not by points but by the flow of the offense and defensively.”
Charlestown (10-7) made nine treys in the first half, including five in the first quarter as it extended a 17-8 lead to 35-16 at halftime.
Obviously, New Washington was not going to lay down. The Mustangs didn’t, but it didn’t matter.
Some may have thought there was no way Charlestown’s shooting could continue into the second half.
But it did.
Following a basket by the Mustangs’ Ian Hughes, Charlestown hit four straight 3’s to open the second half, three by Justin Conrad and another by Braun. The lead grew to 63-29 after three periods.
Still, the Mustangs refused to fold as they outscored the Pirates 23-9 in the fourth quarter.
Braun led Charlestown with 21 points. Daniel added 13 and Conrad finished with 12. Braun and Conrad each finished with four treys, while Daniel had three.
Devin Herron led New Washington (9-10) with 21 points as he hit 6-of-8 3-pointers. Tim Cochran added 12 points for the Mustangs.
“Give them credit. We knew they had some shooters,” said New Washington coach Jonathan May. “We wanted to contest shots. But there were some things that we could control that we didn’t. We’ll fix it. We knew that Daniel and Braun were two solid players. They stepped up and that’s what you want your seniors to do.”
May also had praise for Herron, who had 18 of his points in the second half.
“In the last month or so, Devin has worked hard and sacrificed. He’s bought into what we’re trying to do,” May said.
Both teams will return to conference action on Friday. Charlestown will host Mid-Southern Conference rival Salem (0-18), while New Washington will travel to Southern Athletic Conference foe South Central (11-6).
“It’s nice to play at home,” Smith said. “I feel like we’ve played on the road all season. But we have some tough games coming up.”
“Borden is undefeated [in conference play] so they’ve won it,” May said. “But we can clinch second place with a win at South Central. We had some goals at the beginning of the season such as winning 10 games. We can obtain some of those goals with a win.”