Lang takes a three-point bow, Wimbush plays well
SHEPHERDSTOWN — Thomas Lang shattered a 66-66 tie with three consecutive three-point field goals, and Noah Wimbush had his most productive game in a Shepherd uniform, as the Rams maneuvered their collective noses in front at the end of the PSAC game versus West Chester.
Collecting a much-needed 83-78 win over the visiting Golden Rams, Shepherd continued its quest for one of the last places in the conference tournament coming in early March.
Shepherd was tied for sixth in the nine-school East Division of the PSAC. Only six teams in each division qualify for the league tournament.
Moving to 7-10 in league play, the Rams were 11-12 overall, while West Chester dipped to 9-8 in the East Division and 15-8 overall.
The 40-minute game was generally very close with any lead of four points by either side appearing to be mercurial at best.
Generally, the game was tied or one team had a one- or two-point lead.
The tightness of the struggle could be verified by the 38-38 count at halftime.
West Chester mostly controlled the first-half tempo with its half-court zone and full court pressure defense.
Shepherd at times probed inside, but mostly used the perimeter strafing of Daniel McClain-Corley, Kyle Daggett, Jon Preston and Lang in gaining its 38 points.
When the Golden Rams of the Philadelphia suburbs went ahead, 60-59, they once again tried a full-court press and then another half-court zone with eight minutes to play.
It was Lang, mostly silent with only nine points, who dismissed the 66-66 tie with three ultra-quick three-pointers that bounced Shepherd into a lead it would not lose.
When Lang’s near-lethal scoring was completed, Shepherd had a nine-point lead at 77-68.
West Chester responded with 10 of the game’s next 13 points to breathe hard on the Rams’ necks, trailing just 80-78.
The next West Chester possession was ruined by a turnover, and Shepherd closed things out with the final points.
Lang’s torrid minute of three pointers and Wimbush’s nine points and four rebounds in 17 minutes were Shepherd’s portion of any highlight film.
And the victory was Shepherd’s second straight in a late-season dash at trying to earn a tournament berth in the school’s first season in the Pennsylvania State Athletic Conference.