Eli Inman red hot for the Yellowjackets
WILLIAMSTOWN — Williamstown High junior Eli Inman will probably remember Senior Night 2019 fondly for a very long time.
The 6-foot-4 sharpshooter scored a career-high 36 points, 23 in the second quarter, as the host Yellowjackets downed Wood County Christian School, 88-61, in boys’ basketball action Monday night.
“It’s crazy,” said Inman, smiling. “I’ve never shot this well so far this season. It feels good.”
WHS head coach Scott Sauro said that he knew that Iman “was capable of that.”
“We’ve been waiting for him to have a performance like that,” Sauro added.
“He’s had a few good scoring games, but I was just glad to see him take on a lot tonight and really be aggressive scoring the ball. And what you saw from that, he got other people the ball.”
Senior Cullen Cutright added 21 points and senior Trent Lynch, sophomore Xavier Caruthers, and sophomore Garret Hill 6 apiece for the Jackets, who improved their record to 13-5 overall. The maroon and gold cagers also defeated the Wildcats (10-12) earlier this season.
Wood County Christian was paced by Sam Cremeans’ 25 points. Garrett Napier chipped in with 14 before fouling out in the fourth quarter, and Trey Davis netted eight markers.
“We played hard,” said Wildcat boss Dan Morris. “We’re relatively young. We start four juniors and a sophomore. So, we’re hoping to build on that for next year.”
While Williamstown won big, it actually trailed the Wildcats, 13-11, at the end of one. Napier (6) and Cremeans (5) led the way with a combined 11 points.
Inman only had one field goal and two freebies and Cutright two foul shots during the first eight minutes of play. Overall, the Yellowjackets started the game 3 of 11 from the field.
“You’ve got to credit Wood County Christian,” Sauro said. “They played really hard, and we didn’t shoot it great early — and Wood County Christian was a big reason for that. They were contesting some shots, and then we got hot there about midway through the second quarter.”
Added Inman, “We didn’t have that much intensity. And when we came back to the huddle, Coach (Sauro) wanted us to get fired up and come out firing in the second quarter.”
After Inman’s first of four triples in the period gave Williamstown a 17-16 lead, the home team never looked back. It stayed close for a couple of more minutes — and then the Jacket senior got red hot. And before the smoke cleared, figuratively speaking, he’d scored 23 of his team’s 36 points in the quarter, and WHS led 47-28 at the half.
“Really, I didn’t realize it was that much,” said Inman on scoring 23 points in the second stanza.
Added Morris, “He shot the lights out. He’s a pure shooter. That (23 points) and their press was hard to overcome. We made some poor decisions there on the press.”
After the break, Cutright had the hot hand, scoring 10 points in the third and seven more in the fourth, while Inman added three more trifectas to his total as Williamstown won going away.
“If the game had been a quarter-and-a half long, we would’ve been OK, right?” Morris said.