WV boys find speed that wins
Posted: Friday, February 10, 2012 12:00 pm
By MIKE HUTCHENS
Different gears meant different finishes for Westview against Obion Central.
The 10th-ranked Chargers’ hurry-up mode was too fast for OC, resulting in a 68-50 nightcap triumph over the Rebels on Tuesday.
The Westview girls’ slow-down tactics stalled, though, against the No. 1-ranked Lady Rebels in a 42-29 loss in Game 1.
Antonio Hogard, Javier Gordon and Jazelle Baker combined for 46 points as the Chargers sped up the tempo to their desired liking and built a 20-point first-half lead while making six 3-pointers and never looked back in winning for the 10th time in their last 11 games.
That followed an opener that saw Lady Charger coach Sean Stephenson elect to employ a delay-game strategy, one that failed when Westview failed to score in the first period and managed just two field goals and five total points in the entire first half.
Westview 68, OC 50 (B)
The Chargers (21-5, 14-3) essentially ran away from OC in the opening half when they used their superior quickness and athleticism in the form of fullcourt pressure to overwhelm the Rebels.
Both Hogard and Jordan Davis had 3-pointers in an early Westview flurry before a follow shot by Gordon and Baker’s bucket off a Central turnover capped a run of nine straight points and gave the home team a 23-8 lead early in the second frame.
Continuing their season-long trend of unselfish play, the Chargers expanded that gap to as many as 20 points late in the first half.
Gordon had nine points in that second stanza and Hogard, who scored 10 in the first half, made a driving bucket while being fouled to bring the difference to 41-21 at the intermission.
Hogard added nine markers to what would be his game-high total of 19 points in the third period to blow the game wide open and the lead to as much as 61-34 just before the third-quarter horn.
Charger head coach J.B. Suiter — though insisting his team could play better — was nonetheless pleased with his club’s effort.
“Our kids pressured the ball well and hit the passing lanes like we wanted to,” Suiter said. “We set the tempo where we needed to early and, even though we might’ve shot it early a couple of times, we played good team ball. This bunch just doesn’t care who scores.”
OC 42, Westview 29 (G)
Not only did the Lady Chargers not score in the first quarter, they rarely even looked to — attempting just one shot in the entire period.
Stephenson, who insisted he debated whether to go with the strategy he ultimately employed or a run-and-gun approach, insisted the plan used gave his team the best chance at upsetting the state’s top-rated Class 2A team.
“My goal was to give us a chance, and if we’d had made another shot or two or three in the second quarter, we’d have been right there within striking distance in the fourth,” the coach claimed. “Defensively, (Obion Central’s) Macy (Wright) guards everybody for them, and Brandi (Goodman) doesn’t guard anybody, but sits back there and keeps anyone from running a backdoor play, so it’s hard to run set plays against them.”
The Lady Rebels (26-1, 17-0), winners of 46 straight games in district play over a span of three seasons and 31 in a row on the road in 13AA, scored just five first-quarter points. Shannon Wiggins’ 3-pointer — the only field goal by either team during the period — gave OC a lead it would never lose three minutes into the game.
Kendall Leyhue’s made 3-pointer at the 4:25 mark of the second quarter accounted for Westview’s first points, but a run of eight straight Central markers made it 15-3 before the Chargers’ only other field goal of the opening half — a stickback by Teddy Vincent with just over a minute left before intermission.
Down 19-5 at the break, Westview showed some signs of life behind the gritty Vincent, who consistently took the ball strong to the basket against the defense of Goodman. Twice she drew her team within 10, the second at 22-12, before the Lady Rebels then used their own stall tactics to milk more than three minutes off the clock.
A critical stickback by Goodman to cap that span and a 3-pointer by Wright stretched the difference back to 27-12 heading into the stretch run.
Behind by as many as 17 points with five minutes left, the Lady Chargers made one final push and got within 36-25 on a Tiffany Rechis hoop with 3:40 to go.
Vincent had 15 points to lead all scorers, while Wright had 13 and Goodman 11 for OC. Published in The WCP 2.9.12