Williamstown boys run past St. Marys, 74-48

TOM PERRY The Marietta Times Williamstown’s Cullen Cutright (0) goes up for a shot as St. Marys’ Evan Lamp (11) and Walker Hashman (1) defend during a high school boys basketball game Monday.

WILLIAMSTOWN — It’s easy to see that coach Scott Sauro is taking a different approach with his young Williamstown squad.

If a player turns the ball over, Sauro pops up and offers encouragement. Make a bad cut; he’s out in front making a suggestion.

“It’s coaching,” Sauro said. “These guys have a lot to learn, and we have to coach them up right now. These guys don’t know A, B or C yet, but they believe they can win now, and I like this team.”

The Yellowjackets made their coach proud Monday night with a convincing 74-48 victory over rival St. Marys in a Little Kanawha Conference game. Sauro believes a big reason for Williamstown’s success was the balance it had on offense.

“I think in our last game we shot the ball from the perimeter too much,” he said. “We wanted more balance on the inside and the perimeter. We got that tonight. They moved the ball pretty well.”

Williamstown (3-1, 2-1) played to near perfection in dispatching the Devils. The perimeter game was on point as the Yellowjackets connected on 9-of-17 3-point attempts (52.9 percent), while Cullen Cutright scored 16 points in the post – 10 of them coming from the foul line.

“It feels pretty good that we found our offensive balance,” said Cutright, who also had eight rebounds. “If we didn’t have our shot in the post, we just kicked out to the perimeter and those guys were hitting shots.”

St. Marys coach Mark Barnhart was impressed with Cutright.

“Cutright is a handful,” he said. “We tried some things tonight to stop him, but none of it worked.”

WHS took control of the contest early, outscoring St. Marys 21-13 in the first period behind five points each from Boston Caruthers and Eli Inman. The Devils never got any closer as the Yellowjackets kept making three-pointers and pulling down rebounds.

Freshman Xavier Caruthers added 11 points off of the bench, while starter Eric Brown scored 10 points and pulled down six rebounds before fouling out in the final period.

“Look, we’re young, and we know it,” Sauro said. “We’re playing two freshmen, four sophomores and three juniors.”

St. Marys, which was coming off of an 82-29 victory over Paden City, didn’t have the same offensive flow that it did last week.

“(Williamstown has) a wonderful team and the problems we had tonight were caused by them,” Barnhart said.

“We knew it would be a difficult game, and Scott (Sauro) does a great job of coaching his kids.”

The Devils managed just 21 points to Williamstown’s 35 over the middle two periods, which allowed the Yellowjackets to pull away. Evan Lamp and Peyton Auxier led the way for St. Marys with nine points each, while Noah VanZile and William Steele had eight each. Lamp also had five rebounds.

Sauro knows Williamstown will face a tougher test when it travels to St. Marys on Jan. 5.

“That team is very well coached, and they are going to win a lot of games this season,” Sauro said.