West Union jumps to top of SHAC standings –
By Mark Carpenter –
It may not sound like anything local basketball fans have heard in recent years, but the West Union Dragons boys varsity basketball squad currently holds down the top spot in the big school division of the Southern Hills Athletic Conference. The rejuvenated #DragonDynasty under the direction of first-year head coach Greg Himes has turned the heads of fans in southeast Ohio and certainly proven wrong those who erroneously picked the Dragons to finish last in the conference standings.
The Dragons moved into a tie for first place in the SHAC when they went to Ripley last week and nipped the Blue Jays 38-36, then took over first place all alone on Friday night. A West Union 64-48 win over Whiteoak on Homecoming Night, combined with Ripley’s 58-38 loss to Fayetteville gave the Dragons a one-and-a-half-game lead in the big school standings with four conference games left on the West Union schedule, none of them “gimmes”, as they have home and away games with both North Adams and Lynchburg.
The Dragons currently stand at seven wins and two losses in conference play, and are a team that can attack in many ways and play any style necessary as shown in their recent wins over Fairfield and Ripley. Defensively, West Union can be tenacious and though undersized, can still bang on the boards with the big boys. On offense, the team can be led on any given night by any of their five starters, seniors Elijah McCarty and Garrett Vogler, juniors Ryan Rothwell and Bowan Tomlin, and sophomore Zane Kingsolver. The recent play of sixth man and senior Eli Fuller has been a key in a nine-game winning streak, as well as contributions from Clayton Madden and Jared Fenton when called upon.
“We are working towards accomplishing a goal,” said Coach Himes. “We still have a lot of work to get done and we will just prepare one game at a time.”
All in all, it has added up to an exciting season thus far for West Union fans, and one they hope ends with a conference championship and a long tournament run.