There was no Isaac Myers to exert his influence on the outcome of the Jefferson vs. Washington game.
There hadn't been a Jefferson win for weeks as the Cougars' losing skid reached six games.
And Jefferson's record against its Sectional rivals had dipped to 0-5 with a recent 44-22 loss to Hedgesville.
Chronicle photos by David Pennock
The Patriots were 5-6 coming into the intracounty game on their home floor.
A nice-sized crowd was on hand to see how the two teams would do in the first of two games between the rivals this season.
Washington would win, 64-59, after four quarters of drive-to-the-basket basketball by both sides.
Dribblers would often drive the length of the court to get close to the rim.
Many, many times four and even five defenders were already positioned inside the lane to meet them.
And meet them they did as the dribblers continued to charge headlong to get within pointblank range.
The furious action within the shadow of the basket caused numerous fouls to be called and numerous foul shots to be attempted
. . . and missed by both sides.
The only thing as messy as the free throw shooting was the steady stream of turnovers and loose balls the game saw.
The Cougars committed 10 fouls in the first quarter alone.
After leading, 13-8, after one quarter, Washington moved to a 22-13 lead before Mason Gray made a Jefferson three-pointer.
Even though the Cougars were missing free throws at an alarming rate, Paris Torelli's three-pointer made it a 24-24 game.
Jefferson's first lead came at 28-27 and that's when the first half closed.
Mikel McDaniel helped Washington get the lead back and once extend its advantage to 42-34 but Jordan Dragon and his long-range scores pushed the Cougars to within 44-43 when the third quarter was over.
The intense fourth period had the teams within inches of each other.
When Alex Tennant made a three-pointer it was 56-56.
Brandon Pitts then made three of his four free throws to give the Patriots a 59-56 advantage with little time remaining.
Washington would count the next five points to swirl into a 64-56 lead.
Dragon (14 points) and Gray (11 points) scored the most for the Cougars, then 5-8 overall.
Hunter Coates had a steady 18 points with McDaniel accounting for another 15 points, Pitts and Davian Hester each added 10 points to Washington's cause.
Washington had finally made some free throws toward the very end.
And Jefferson's turnovers, missed foul shots and late-game drought had been the tri-culprits in it losing for the seventh straight time.