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Wilson rises to occasion as Fleming pulls away from Roanoke Catholic 70-45

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Miles Wilson lists his height as 5 feet, 5 inches and if you listen to a William Fleming basketball teammate peering over his shoulder in the locker room that might be a stretch.

Well, here’s the long and short of it:

Wilson is Fleming’s starting point guard and Colonels coach Mickey Hardy wouldn’t have it any other way.

Monday night, the diminutive junior was huge for Fleming in the second half, scoring all eight of his points in the second half including a 3-pointer and a stickback early in the fourth quarter as the Colonels pulled away from visiting Roanoke Catholic for a 70-45 nondistrict victory.

“He’s tough as nails,” Hardy said. “He gets in there and mixes it up with the tallest. It’s not the first time he’s stuck his nose in there. I think one game last year he had 11 rebounds.”

Wilson’s production Monday was timely.

William Fleming (8-2) led just 30-28 in the third quarter before he opened the Colonels’ scoring with a 3-pointer.

With Fleming up 51-39, Wilson stuck another trey on a secondary fast break and followed that by grabbing an offensive rebound and laying it up for a 56-41 edge with five minutes to play.

“I always try to outwork everybody,” Wilson said. “I’m the smallest out there, but I’ve got to hustle the most.”

Wilson knows his role is to set up his teammates, particularly talented junior Elijah Mitchell who scored a game-high 20 points.

His other job is to pressure opposing ballhandlers, evident Monday as Catholic committed 10 first-half turnovers.

“Just keep the offense going and defense, I try to bring it on defense,” Wilson said.

Roanoke Catholic (7-7) trailed just 40-35 with 1:58 left in the third quarter before Fleming closed on a 7-2 run as Jaron Walker nailed a jumper at the buzzer for a 47-37 lead.

Isaac Higgs finished with 12 points for the Colonels, many coming on midrange jumpers that are increasingly becoming a lost art.

“I’ll tell you one thing,” Hardy said. “If you make it, it’s two points.”

The Celtics made just two field goals in the fourth quarter, a stickback by Gavin Burns and a shot in the lane by Josiah Banks.

The 6-foot-4 Banks scored 16 points on 7-of-8 shooting from the field. On many occasions, the Celtics settled for early perimeter shots rather than running through their offense.

“Move the ball, get good shots,” Catholic coach Shawn Good said after a long postgame talk with his team. “The only way we’re going to be successful is if Josiah gets as many touches as possible.”

The 6-foot-8 Burns had a solid game in the paint, keeping the ball alive on the offensive glass and coming up with a jump hook and a stickback on the way to seven points.

“He was at least competing,” Good said. “He needs to be more patient but the effort was there.”

ROANOKE CATHOLIC (7-7)

Banks 7 0-0 16, Estrada 3 0-0 6, Burns 2 3-4 7, Adams 0 3-4 3, Collins 1 1-3 3, Beck 1 0-0 2, Merchant 2 2-3 6, Whalen 0 0–0 0, Boucher 0 0-0 0, Atienza 0 0-0 0. Totals 16 9-14 45.

WILLIAM FLEMING (8-2)

English 2 0-0 4, Mitchell 6 4-7 20, Higgs 5 2-3 12, Wilson 3 0-0 8, Walker 2 4-6 8, Z.Robertson 2 2-2 6, Walton 1 2-2 5, Venable 1 0-0 3, Boston 1 0-0 2, Jones 1 0-0 2, C.Robertson 0 0-0 0. Totals 24 14-20 70.

Roanoke Catholic;14;11;12;8;—;45

William Fleming;17;13;17;23;—;70

3-point goals: Roanoke Catholic 4 (Banks 2, Estrada 2), William Fleming 8 (Mitchell 4, Wilson 2, Walton, Venable). Total fouls: Roanoke Catholic 15, William Fleming 10. Fouled out: none. Technical foul: Roanoke Catholic coach Good.

Contact Robert Anderson at

robert.anderson@roanoke.com

or 981-3123

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