WYTHEVILLE, Va. – Myron Wynn always plays with energy.
In the second half of Tuesday night’s game, the George Wythe High School senior’s exertion might have reached an all-time high.
“Coach was yelling, the crowd was getting hyped,” Wynn said. “We just knew it was our time. It was George Wythe’s time.”
Wynn scored 13 of his 16 points in the second half, part of the Maroons’ total domination over the final two quarters, in a 73-58 victory over Grayson County in the first round of the Region C, Division 2 boys basketball tournament.
It was probably the most intense 15-point victory George Wythe coach Joey Russell has ever been a part of. Grayson County (15-11) actually led by as many as 12 points in the first half and held a five-point halftime lead.
The Blue Devils didn’t look like a seventh seed, speaking to the quality of the teams in the Region C tourney.
“There’s eight teams in this regional tournament and there’s eight very good basketball teams,” Russell said. “There’s some very good basketball teams that didn’t make it. When you come out here, straight from the tip-off, you have to bring your A-game.”
George Wythe (20-5) fell in a hole early Tuesday as the Maroons hit just 2-of-17 shots from the field in the first quarter.
“We were just coming in a little slow and just couldn’t set nothing up,” Wynn said. “I think it was a little first-quarter jitters. The second half we talked and said we have to come back.”
That rally began in the third quarter and the Blue Devils’ lead was erased thanks to a 22-2 run that bridged the third and fourth quarters. Wynn put GW ahead for good, scoring on a putback with 1:17 left in the third to give the Maroons a 42-40 advantage.
A 6-foot-1 forward, Wynn also pulled down 10 rebounds.
“He got a little fired up and started playing to his ability,” Russell said. “Basically, the third quarter he took over.”
Wynn’s game went to the next level in large part because the stakes were higher.
“We knew if we won this game we were a step closer to state,” Wynn said. “We all just wanted to play as hard as we could and that’s the name of game.”
Isaac Baltazar (20 points) and Hardy Lester (15 points, 12 rebounds) played well for GW, which had nine different players reach the scoring column. GW’s depth and up-tempo style gradually wore Grayson County down.
“We’ve been starting since day one, trying to get depth created with this group,” Russell said. “The way we play we have to have subs that come in there. … I think we were just able to run a little bit better tonight.”
George Wythe will face Wythe County rival Fort Chiswell (18-6) on Thursday night in the regional semifinals at Radford High School. The Maroons lost twice to the Pioneers during the regular season.
Russell’s club will try to avoid seeing their season end in the regional semis for the fourth straight season.
“I know we’re going to get Fort Chiswell’s best and I know they’re going to get our best,” Russell said. “It’ll be fun to watch.”
George Wythe 73,Grayson County 58
WYTHEVILLE - Isaac Baltazar scored 20 points for the Maroons and Myron Wynn scored 16 points and had 10 rebounds. Hardy Lester finished with 12 rebounds to go with 15 points.
The Maroons were down by 14 midway through the second quarter and trailed by five at halftime, but gained momentum off a France 3-pointer early in the third.
The Maroons play Fort Chiswell in Thursday's semifinals.
Ty Cannaday and Max Rodgers each had 18 points for the Blue Devils, and Adam Wyatt tacked on 12 more.
GRAYSON COUNTY (15-11)
Cannaday 18, Ma. Rodgers 18, Wyatt 12, Mi. Rodgers 4, Bedsaul 3, Williams 3.
GEORGE WYTHE (20-5)
Baltazar 20, Wynn 16, Lester 15, France 6, Hash 6, Calsee 4, Castanon 2, Deters 2, Kline 2.
Grayson County 16 14 10 18-58
George Wythe 6 19 22 26-73
3-point-goals - Grayson County 4 (Wyatt 2, Bedsaul, Williams), George Wythe 1 (Baltazar).