Rebs hear Westview’s statement
Posted: Wednesday, January 9, 2013 12:00 pm
By MIKE HUTCHENS
While stopping short of calling it a “statement game,” Sean Stephenson was admittedly pleased at the message sent in Westview’s 57-48 victory over Obion Central Friday night.
“It gets us over a little mental hurdle, maybe, that we’re capable of beating a very good team in our district after they’ve handled us the last couple of years,” the Lady Charger head coach said after his club won a showdown for first place in District 13AA vs. OC.
“It shows us that they were not unbeatable for us.”
Westview remained unbeaten (8-0) in league play and improved to 16-2 overall behind a game-high 20 points from Tiffany Rechis and a collective nine 3-pointers made. Kaley Leyhue sank two of those triples and had all eight of her points in a deciding third quarter when the Lady Chargers capped the period with a 14-4 flurry — Kaitlyn Harrelson’s trey in the final seconds — giving them a 47-35 lead after the contest was tied at 23 at the half.
The Westview boys also left word they are to be considered among the upper echelon in 13AA, putting on a 3-point shooting clinic in routing what had been a hot Rebel team 88-64.
The Chargers (15-4, 7-1) drained a whopping 17 shots from beyond the arc — five by Tyquis Johnson and another four by freshman Dallas Callins in a reserve role — to remain hot on the heels of district frontrunner Covington, which is unbeaten in league play and handed Martin its only 13AA loss.
Central (9-7, 3-4) had entered the contest having won the championship of the Nera White Christmas Tournament in Macon County, including a 35-point victory over 3A Cumberland County in the title game.
“It was obviously our best shooting game of the year,” Westview skipper J.B. Suiter said in a post-game understatement.
The Charger teams are back at home tonight for another district doubleheader vs. Crockett County.
Westview 57, OC 48 (G)
Rechis had 16 of her game-high point total and four 3-pointers in the first half.
It was the aforementioned third-quarter flurry — fueled by the Lady Chargers’ 1-3-1 defense in addition to their hot shooting — that proved to be the ultimate difference, however.
“We did a better job of pressuring their wings with the 1-3-1 and made entry passes to the post a little more difficult for them,” Stephenson confirmed. “Kaley really gave us a lift offensively in the third quarter and we got Jasmine (Howard) going a little bit, too.
“We played a little faster early to sorta get us going. We gave up a little defensively because of that style, but I thought it worked for us. The big thing, though, is that the kids are buying into what we’re trying to do defensively. The things we’re stressing on that end will give us a chance to win every night, no matter how we shoot the ball.”
Leyhue keyed the third-quarter surge after Central’s Rachel Jones had converted an old-fashioned 3-point play to give the Rebel girls their last lead at 26-25.
Teddy Vincent put Westview up for a good with a triple before Leyhue then made two 3-pointers and scored off a nice cut among the Lady Chargers’ next 12 markers. Harrelson then hit from long range just before the end of the stanza and scored again in the opening minute of the fourth quarter to give Martin its largest lead of the contest at 49-36.
OC (15-5, 6-1) got as close as seven (51-44) with just under three minutes to go, but Rechis and Howard both hit two free throws in the final 86 seconds to stave off the rally attempt.
The matchup of Division I college signees was essentially a wash as the Lady Chargers’ Vincent (High Point University) had 14 points and University of Memphis-bound Brandi Goodman of Obion Central tallied 15. Howard gave Westview three players in double digits with 10 points.
Westview 88, OC 64 (B)
What was a close game for 14 minutes turned into a rout as the Chargers essentially shot Central out of the gym.
Eight different Westview players made 3-pointers, with even subs Zavion Wright, Seth Coleman, Garrett Sams and Cameron Cates getting in on the act in the fourth quarter when Suiter emptied his bench after his club had built an 84-53 lead.
Though the final count was lopsided, the margin was just 36-31 with a little over two minutes to go in the first half.
A critical 10-2 Westview run just before the intermission was telling, stretching the difference to 46-33 at the intermission. R.J. Scott’s 3-pointer started the flurry and twice Jazelle Baker converted Central turnovers into easy points before a free throw by Johnson ended the spurt.
OC clawed back to within 51-44 with a little more than three minutes having elapsed in the second half before a 14-4 Charger eruption — highlighted by a deep Johnson 3-pointer, and both a traditional 3-point play and a longball by Baker. Javier Gordon scored from the paint to make it 65-46 and essentially remove any further suspense.
“That stretch right before the half was crucial,” Suiter added. “The game has a totally different complex when it goes from being four or five points to a double-figure lead for us.
“We didn’t necessarily get a lot of turnovers, but we got them in bunches and were able to put together some runs. And it’s real important to slam the door on Obion, because they can score quickly, too.”
Johnson finished with a game-best 22 points, while Baker added 14 and Callins tallied 12 for the victors. Published in The WCP 1.8.13