HURRICANE - On Tuesday night, Woodrow Wilson found itself on the road in a place it was beaten last year, facing an unbeaten Hurricane team without two of its starters, and starting a freshman in the post in just his second career high school game.
In other words, there were plenty of reasons why the Flying Eagles could've lost, but in the face of adversity, Woodrow did everything it took to win.
Five of the seven players who saw the court scored in double figures and a 24-11 scoring advantage in the fourth quarter allowed Woodrow (2-0) to run away with an 83-66 win in an early-season Mountain State Athletic Conference showdown.
"This is a team we feel pretty good about as far as being scrappy," Woodrow Wilson coach Ron Kidd said. "They're real scrappy and they play hard every possession. They might throw the ball all over the gym but they scrap."
The Eagles were without the services of normal starters Juwan Walton and Daizjuan Fortune, but still came up with more than enough to win thanks to a solid 18-point, nine-assist night from senior point guard Andrew Johnson and quite the debut from Nequan Carrington.
The 6-foot-3 freshman scored 17 points, including eight in the first quarter and had 10 rebounds as part of a relentless swarming of the glass by Woodrow that turned out to be a huge factor, especially late.
"He's going to be extremely big-time player by the time he leaves this program," Kidd said. "He worked hard in the preseason and he's still working hard. He's first in every drill we do."
Carrington will likely have to keep up the heroics for a while as Fortune will be out 4-to-6 weeks with a fractured collarbone, rib, and finger, and Walton's return is uncertain.
The freshman's early scoring helped Woodrow jump out to a 21-11 lead after the first quarter and the deficit grew as large as 16 in the second before Hurricane's bench pulled the Redskins back within striking distance.
Leading the charge was Garrett DeFries, who scored 12 of his game-high 20 points in the second quarter for Hurricane after taking just one shot in the first eight minutes, allowing the Redskins (3-1) to claw to within four points at the break.