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CLAYSVILLE – Last Friday night was bad for McGuffey’s boys basketball team.

This Friday night was even worse.

For Washington, the opposite story.

After falling to the Prexies 62-36 on the road last week, the Highlanders were expecting something a little better on their home court.

After all, McGuffey is no bottom feeder. In fact, the Highlanders have won more than they’ve lost, both overall and in Class 3A Section 4, and even have a win over Brentwood, who will be playing Wash High in the de-facto section championship game Tuesday night.

When the Highlanders meet the Prexies, however, bad things happen.

In this sequel, Washington handled McGuffey, 64-30, putting the mercy rule in effect.

“They’re really good, and they beat us in every way possible,” McGuffey coach Mike Fatigante said. “It’s as simple as that.”

The Prexies scored the game’s first nine points and led 22-7 after the first quarter.

At halftime, it was 47-15, and the teams played the last 16 minutes with the winner having already been decided.

Wash High coach Ron Faust saw a lot of problems in last Friday’s win, and although he wasn’t overly excited, he does feel his team has gotten better within the last week.

“(The win) was great, winning on the road especially,” he said. “But we have to crank it up a little bit more.”

The score realistically could have been even worse. The Prexies were just 9-for-15 from the foul line and missed several layups, something that Faust feels could bite them in the looming postseason.

Overall, however, the good outweighed the bad, and there were some solid individual performances on Wash High’s end.

Brandon Patterson led the way with 18 points. Davoun Fuse had 14 points, and Tayshawn Levy, who had 25 in the prequel, added 13.

Although that trio produced, the fact that it accounted for 45 of the Prexies’ 60 points doesn’t say a lot for their depth. Faust hopes for some more variety come playoff time.

“We need to get some help off the bench,” Faust said. “We have to get deeper for the playoffs.”

Nonetheless, Faust appreciated how his starters performed, particularly Fuse.

“Davoun Fuse did an outstanding job,” he said. “He totally dominated in the paint, both offensively and defensively.”

Some might think the Prexies’ focus is now shifted to Tuesday night’s clash against Brentwood. For Faust, however, Saturday afternoon’s game against Beth-Center takes priority, especially because the WPIAL playoff pairings will already be decided by the time the Prexies and Spartans tip off Tuesday.

“(Brentwood is) a big game as far as winning the section outright,” he said. “As far as the brackets are concerned, really not a factor if we take care of our business.”

On McGuffey’s end, the Highlanders should close the season with a win Tuesday against Brownsville, who is just 3-6 overall and 2-5 in section play. For Fatigante, pushing ahead is the only option.

“The good thing is, win or lose, you get to do it again in a couple of days,” he said.

For Faust, things are getting better, but there’s lots of work to be done in terms of the big picture

“We did make progress,” Faust said. “We have to make more progress in the next week.”

As it is, there’s no question, in Fatigante’s mind, who the top dog in Section 4 is.

“It’s obvious. (Washington’s) very talented. They’re well coached. I think theres a gap between them and everyone else in the section, and you saw that tonight.”

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