Wiggins guides Huntington Prep to 61-59 victory
NORTH CANTON, Ohio -- Huntington Prep guard Xavier Rathan-Mayes went through a lot to be able to play in Saturday night's contest.
After Friday's win in Cincinnati, Rathan-Mayes drove back to Huntington to take his SAT before driving to Canton for Saturday's game.
Nearly eight hours of travel — all for one huge play at game's end.
With the Huntington Prep boys basketball team clinging to a one-point lead, Brandon Fritts of the Mentor (Ohio) Cardinals cut off a pick to the basket and was wide open.
Rathan-Mayes stripped Fritts on his way up and threw an outlet to Andrew Wiggins, who was fouled and hit one free throw before an intentional miss to secure a 61-59 win in the final game of the day at Dunk4Diabetes at Walsh University.
"The kid had to drive 31/2 hours to Huntington after the game last night for an SAT test at 8 a.m.," Huntington Prep coach Rob Fulford said. "He took the test, drove another four hours and played. You could tell he was tired, but he made the game's biggest play."
The play ended a back-and-forth contest that featured two intriguing styles -- the 3-point sharpshooting of Mentor and the athleticism around the rim of Huntington Prep.
The Express actually trailed by 10 following back-to-back 3-pointers in the third quarter, but Wiggins took over at that point. After a run to end the third quarter, Wiggins hit back-to-back 3-pointers out front before a drive to the rim pushed Huntington Prep back in front and set up the exciting finish.
Wiggins had 30 points, 14 rebounds and five blocks and the Express needed every single point.
"Sometimes I have to hurt other guys' feelings and tell them to get out of his way," Fulford said. "When it was 48-38, we spread the floor and let him play. I had to get everyone out of his way."
Mentor got out to its third-quarter lead on sheer determination and grit. The outsized and out-athleted Cardinals, who are No. 7 in the Ohio AP Poll, continuously drove to the basket and took the game to Huntington Prep, who was forced to counter each attack.
For the second straight night, the difference on the defensive end was Huntington Prep center Moses Kingsley, who continued his confident play.
Kingsley finished two blocks shy of a triple-double with 11 points, 12 rebounds and eight blocks, including a monster block in the fourth period on help-side defense that he sent into the second row.
"He did a great job again tonight," Fulford said. "The paint was his and he owned it. He was out on the perimeter guarding 6-foot-3 and 6-foot-4 guys all night as well. I was proud of him."
Mentor (13-3) got 15 points and eight rebounds from Caleb Potter while Conner Krizancic added 14 points. Kade McClure chipped in with 10 for the Cardinals.
HUNTINGTON PREP 14 16 18 13 -- 61: Wiggins 30, Gill-Caesar 9, Kingsley 11, Landry 4, Rathan-Mayes 2, Grandstaff 5.
MENTOR 13 21 17 8 -- 59: Fritts 7, Potter 15, Foreman 9, Krizancic 14, Nelson 2, McClure 10, Berger 2.