Evan Smith scores 30 as Conrad Weiser turns back Wyomissing in Berks boys quarterfinal [updated}

Rich Scarcella, Reading Eagle, Pa.
·3 min read

Feb. 24—The only thing that came close to stopping Evan Smith on Tuesday night was a queasy stomach.

Smith, a Conrad Weiser senior, made several visits to the trash cans behind the bench in the fourth quarter.

He spent the rest of the night making Wyomissing sick by pouring in 30 points in the visiting Scouts' 55-49 victory in a Berks Conference quarterfinal.

"He's a great shooter," Weiser coach Billy Harrison said. "He's a scorer. When he's on, he scores in volumes. He's capable of 30 or 35 on any night. We're just lucky it happened tonight in a playoff game.

"He knows he has the green light. We just let him fire away because most of the time they're going in."

Smith's offensive outburst enabled the fifth-seeded Scouts (13-5) to beat the fourth-seeded Spartans (10-3) and advance to Wednesday's semifinal against top-seeded Reading High at 5 p.m. at Berks Catholic.

He matched his career high and scored 17 points in the second half when Weiser extended a two-point halftime lead to as many as 12 early in the fourth quarter.

"He had the hot hand tonight," Wyomissing coach Ryan Ludwig said. "I thought Owen (Doyle) and Amory (Thompson) really defended him quite well. He just hit some really great shots. Kudos to him.

"He was feeling it. He really helped them. He's a heck of a player."

Smith made four 3-pointers, including one that beat the halftime buzzer. He made shots even when Doyle or Thompson gave him very little space.

"He doesn't need much room to shoot," Harrison said. "I think you saw that tonight. If he gets his feet set and his shoulders squared, it's going. He can knock them down. Some of them in the corner, I don't even know how they went in."

The game was a bruising battle between teams with several football players. Both teams played aggressive, physical defense, and the officials let them play for the most part.

"We matched their physicality," Smith said. "That's the reason we came out with a win tonight. Wyo always plays physically. They play great man defense. We're always going to have a fight when we come here. We had to buckle down."

Weiser attacked the glass at both ends of the floor. Logan Klitsch pulled down a team-high 11 rebounds, and Jake Plummer and Charlie Dobb each had eight.

"Their length hurt us," Ludwig said. "They probably had 12 to 15 offensive rebounds. That turns into eight or 10 points and that's the game right there. That was huge."

Darren Brunner scored 16 points, Doyle had 13 and Thompson 10 for the Spartans, who cut the deficit to five points three times in the fourth quarter and then to four in the final 10 seconds.

Weiser kept them at arm's length by making 11-of-14 free throws in the final 75 seconds. Smith made 5-of-6 then after missing 2-of-3 earlier in the fourth.

"I was exhausted," Smith said. "I had to get my head into it. I had to start taking my time and use my 10 seconds and not rush them."

Smith also was battling nerves, he said, in his first playoff game.

"We're all hyped up," he said. "It's our first playoff win (in three years). We're excited going into tomorrow."

He was asked if his stomach often gets unsettled during games.

"No," Smith said, "and I hope I don't make it a trend."