Widdig’s Put-Back Wins Wheelersburg A Title< < Back to
Fending off numerous attacks of a relentless Fairland Dragons squad, the No. 7 seed Wheelersburg Pirates secured a thrilling 52-50 victory to earn a District championship.
The winning bucket came on a J.D. Widdig put-back off of a Dylan Miller miss with just 3.2 seconds to go to break a 50-all tie.
“It’s funny because we were working on situational stuff the past two weeks and we always told them, at the end of the game it’s not the first shot, it’s always the second” said Coach Steven Ater.
The 6-foot-3 senior Miller scored 23 points to lead all scorers.
Scoring was sparse over the first 12 minutes of action, but Wheelersburg hit a 9-0 spurt to go up 20-12 in the second that was capped by a Miller on a 3-pointer. The two traded baskets and went into the half with the Pirates leading the Dragons 26-20.
Neither Chance Short nor Evan Maddox scored in the first half, making the close game even more impressive on Fairland’s end.
“They’re a good team with a lot of great athletes and we knew they were not going to quit” said Ater “We jumped out to an early lead just knowing they were going to make a run.”
The Dragons came out firing on all cylinders in the third and tied the game multiple times as Wheelersburg attempted to stave off the comeback.Short picked up his fourth and fifth fouls on two consecutive possessions at the end of the third.
A Miller layup gave Wheelersburg a lead that they never relinquished.
Maddox finally netted 2 points with 6:44 left in the game, and bullied his way to the basket to score the only other points he had on the afternoon. Thanks to the energetic play of Thayer Flynn, Nathan Campbell and Jacob Warner, the two kept it close all the way down to the wire with Phillips hitting a bucket to put it at 50-50 before the winning Widdig basket.
The win represented Wheelersburg’s 18th District title and added another win to the Pirates illustrious record in the Convo, which is the best in the arena’s history. They advance to play No. 2 Bishop Ready at 8:00 p.m. on March 12 in the regional semifinals.
Photos from the Pirates district title win from WOUB's Nick Bolin: