Since injuries have virtually wiped out the inside game for the Wabash Valley College Warriors so far this season, Rontray Chavis has stepped into a more pronounced scoring and rebounding role. Warrior interim coach Eric Murphy’s worst fears were realized on Wednesday night against Olney Central College, a game in which even Chavis was held back by foul trouble.“Other guys have to step up when (Chavis) is in foul trouble. We’re not a one-man team,” said Murphy following the Warrior’s 67-47 Great Rivers Athletic Conference loss at Spencer Sports Center.
Chavis did not foul out, but he played only 28 minutes because of that ongoing threat. Olney Central (11-2, 3-1 in GRAC), a team known for its defense, held the sophomore transfer to only eight points.
The Warriors, after trailing by only four points at the half, faded throughout the second half. Because of that, Wabash finds itself in the historically rare position of being below the .500 mark this late in the season (6-7, 1-3).
Murphy did not think there were any lingering effects from the grueling double-overtime loss to Kaskaskia on Monday night in Centralia. “I don’t think so at all,” he said. “It’s just lack of execution and not rebounding the basketball.”
The deficiencies on the boards was glaring. The Blue Knights out rebounded Wabash Valley, 35-18. Chavis led the way with five.
WVC could not sustain any momentum swing they did generate because they did not shoot well, hitting only 38 percent from the field on their own floor. Olney, meanwhile, shot the ball like they owned the place, hitting 54 percent.
Alex Carr led WVC with 18 points, the lone Warrior in double figures. The Knights were led by John Brown, with 21 points.
Wabash takes a step outside of the GRAC on Saturday to renew a series with a new Region rival but old nemesis Vincennes University. the Trailblazers are 15-0 and are ranked fourth in the latest NJCAA poll. The tipoff at Vincennes is at 6 p.m.
• The Lady Warriors took advantage of a depleted Olney Central roster to roll past the Lady Knights, 86-39, in the first game.Olney Central had only seven of 12 players in uniform, due to illness and injuries, and the lack of personnel showed. WVC (7-5, 3-1), after leading only 10-9 early, went on a 35-9 tear through the remainder of the first half to hold a commanding 45-18 lead at intermission. Olney Central (4-10, 1-3) was then outscored 41-21 in the second half.Andriana Moore paced Zach Loll’s team with 14 points. Misha Jones added 11 for the winners, who shot 51 percent from the field while collecting 51 rebounds. The Lady Warriors also play at Vincennes on Saturday, with a start time of 4 p.m.