PHILIPPI - The Philip Barbour Colts boys varsity basketball team opened the season with a 63-57 win over Lincoln Wednesday night in Big 10 Conference play.
Head coach Marcus Johnson was pleased with the Colts' effort.
He said this year's squad is young and inexperienced, but the guys "worked well together and played as a unit."
The Inter-Mountain photo by Joey Kittle
Philip Barbour’s Al Johnson puts up a jumper against Lincoln Wednesday night in Philippi. Johnson had 17 points in the Colts’ Big 10 Conference victory.
"We started off slow," Johnson said. "I think the guys were kinda nervous. We've got a young group but they handled themselves well.
"I think this win will help boost their confidence. It's really the first full-tilt contest they've played together. I think they bonded pretty good tonight."
Senior Al Johnson was among the leaders for Philip Barbour in scoring with 17 points, but fouled out with three minutes to go in the contest. He is the only senior on the roster. Coach Johnson said underclassmen Nick Triplett and Trevor Matko stepped up when Johnson fouled out and helped secure the victory in the season opener.
"We made a big step tonight," Marcus Johnson said. "We could have folded easily, but the guys kept battling and didn't quit. They made some big stops on defense and some key baskets when we needed them. Other than the fouls, I think we played pretty well. Nick Triplett played well on both offense and defense.
"Trevor Matko also did an outstanding job in the last three minutes. We had to rely on him to carry the load and bring the ball up the floor."
Matko added 17 points and Triplett 11 for the Colts.
Cody Carpenter had 12 points for the Cougars, while Cole DeBerry tallied 11 and Brandon Frazalare 10.
Philip Barbour will return to action at 7:30 p.m. Friday at Elkins.