WHEELING - With all the snowfall and school cancellations during the past week, the Linsly boys' basketball team caught a case of cabin fever.
The Cadets, however, finally were able to hit the court against Kiski on Wednesday night and handed the visitors a 70-61 defeat inside Stifel Fieldhouse.
''Our guys were chomping at the bit and then (the games would) get canceled,'' Cadets coach James Wallace said. ''We hadn't played for a week. We were just ready to stop beating each other up during practice and go at somebody.''
Linsly’s Anthony Wallace (14) sets up a play while being guarded by Kiski’s Augie Luptah (34).
Linsly (10-9) began the game furiously and quickly jumped out to a 14-3 lead, fueled by six points from Arien Seymour.
The Cougars (16-6) were able to pull within four at the end of the first at 16-12, but a 22-9 Cadets run, courtesy of nine points from Anthony Wallace and another eight from Jirbi Blount, put the hosts up by 17 at the half, 38-21.
''We talked in the locker room about starting early and controlling the tempo,'' Wallace said. ''Make them play our style of basketball and make them match our intensity. It took them a long time to match the intensity we brought to the floor. When we bring that kind of intensity, we're a very good team.''
The third quarter showed a continuation of the first half as Linsly held a comfortable 54-39 leading heading into the final quarter.
That's when the Cougars decided to fight back.
Major Canady, who totaled 20 of his game-high 37 points in the fourth, helped get the visitors on track with a 15-4 spurt that cut the Cadets lead to four at 58-54.
However, a Quinton Hamilton bucket, followed by a free throw from Colton Cross, helped Linsly get the lead back to double-digits after a 3-pointer from Wallace brought a thunderous applause from the crowd.
Linsly then hit 4 of 6 from the free-throw line to close out the victory.
''It was a big win because of how we played,'' Wallace said. ''Obviously Kiski is very good. They have guys going to Division I and II (colleges). The thing I was happy with was how hard we played and, even when they made their run, how we kept our composure. We really battled through adversity.
Linsly had five players finish in double-figures led by Wallace's 22.
The senior also chipped in seven rebounds to go with three assists.
Toddy Goodwin-Rowe added 12 points and three assists, while Hamilton and Seymour finished with 11 and 10 points, respectively.
Blount ended the night with 16 points and 12 boards despite missing time in the second half with an ankle injury.
Dante Lombardi backed Canady with 10 points for Kiski.