WiHi holds off Easton, advances to regional championship game
SALISBURY, MD- WiHi head coach Butch Waller has seen almost everything in his 50+ years coaching, one of the reason’s he is as successful as he is. The old ball coach held the formula once again on Wednesday night as WiHi knocked Easton from the 2A playoffs with a 74-66 victory.
The Tribe may have gotten chills from an early playoff exit a year ago when Easton senior Lamont Powell (game-high 24 points) nailed five three-pointers in the first half, and Easton played their way to an 18-18 tie thru the first eight minutes. But a quick 7-0 run sparked the Tribe, highlighted by a steal and alley-oop from Dorian Stevens (12 points) to Matt Lowe.
After heading into the locker room with a 41-35 lead, WiHi (22-1) again went on a costly run. Sparked by two three-pointers by Ronnie Satchell, (6 points, 8 assists, 6 rebounds, 4 steals) the Bayside champions opened up their largest lead of the game of 14 headed into the fourth quarter.
Although Easton got big man Jaedon Copper going in the second half (15 points), the final eight minutes we’re sealed up by hustle plays by Satchell and junior guard Jaden Baker (23 points, 6 rebounds). Satchell got one of his four steals midway thru the fourth to cut off an Easton run, and Baker hustled back on defense for a huge block what would have been an easy Warrior layup. Last year, small missed assignments costed the Tribe in this exact stage of the state tournament, this year– they sealed a win and propelled WiHi to their first regional championship game since 2015.
Waller and company go on to host Harford Tech (13-8) on Friday, March 8th at 5:30pm– winner of that game punches their ticket into the 2A state final four at the Xfinity Center on the campus of the University of Maryland.