Georges guides Wheeling Central past Linsly

WHEELING — It was Senior Night at Skip Prosser Court Wednesday night. It is one Wheeling Central’s Ian Georges will not soon forget.

The 5-9 dynamo was part of an all-senior starting lineup for the Maroon Knights and he responded by turning in a career performance. Georges was the spark the hosts needed as he tossed in a personal best 17 points, including four treys, as Central turned back a spirited bid from city rival Linsly by a 78-61 count.

“Ian saved our butts. I told our team at halftime if it wasn’t for Ian we might be trailing,” Wheeling Central coach Mel Stephens said. “I am very happy for him. He had a great night.”

Linsly battled the hosts on nearly even terms for some 14 minutes. The Maroon Knights, however, closed the half on a 9-3 run to take a 33-28 lead into intermission. Six of those points came from Georges.

The Cadets stayed in striking distance throughout the third quarter, trailing by just nine at 52-43 entering the final period. Central quickly erased any thoughts of a Cadet rally, receiving a pair of treys from senior standout Owen Gainer and one each from Brent Price and Georges to balloon the lead to over 20 until the final minutes.

“We started slowly but give Linsly credit. They played extremely hard. I don’t know if it was Senior Night or the first game since our OVAC championship game but we were a little out of sorts. We turned it over way too many times in the first quarter (10).

“But when we got going we really turned it on. In the fourth quarter our shots started to fall and we finished strong,” he added. “It was a nice night for our seniors. Coach (James) Wallace can be proud of how his kids played.”

Georges was joined in double figures by classmates Gainer (18) and Price (12). Hard-working senior post Cedric Williams added nine points and did a solid job on the boards. Brey Price also chipped in with nine counters for the winners.

Central improved to a superb 19-2 on the campaign. The Knights are idle until Wednesday when they play a sectional game against the winner of the Hundred-Valley matchup.

Linsly played much better than its 6-14 record would indicate. Wallace receive sparkling efforts from a host of players.

Senior Jimmy Zecca topped the Cadets with 16 points. Sophomore Trevin Tush delivered 15 points to go with unbridled energy while rising frosh Hunter Kelley connected for 13 points.

“I am proud of our kids’ efforts. They played very hard and with a lot of passion,” Wallace said. “Give Wheeling Central credit. They are talented and very explosive. They also are very deep.

“Central really stepped it up in the fourth quarter. We were right there for three quarters,” he added. “Our record may not show it but we are really improving.”

The game was played at a torrid pace. It also resulted in some sloppy play. Central committed an uncharacteristic 22 turnovers, two more than the Cadets. The Maroon Knights buried 10 treys on the evening.

Linsly, which played minus the services of two starters, will host Mercersburg (Pa.) Saturday.