Chargers hold lead just long enough to stun Haywood

Chargers hold lead just long enough to stun Haywood

Posted: Wednesday, February 22, 2012 12:00 pm

By KEVIN WEAKS
Press Sports
One lead, lasting all of 3.7 seconds, was all Westview needed.
Jazell Baker’s free throw with that amount of time on the clock gave the Chargers their only lead against Haywood, and then solid fullcourt pressure that did not allow the Tomcats to get off a final shot preserved Westview’s  stunning 77-76 come-from-behind win in the semifinals of the District 13AA Tournament Friday night in Dyersburg.
Stunning because the Chargers fell behind early and, despite numerous comeback efforts, still trailed 68-56 with just over five minutes to play in the game.
But, fueled by an overplaying trap defense and ignited by Tyquis Johnson’s 3-point shooting, Westview went on an incredible 21-8 run to close the game.
With the win, the Chargers accomplished two things: Westview advanced to the tournament championship game Monday night and, more importantly, secured a home game for the first round of the Region 7AA Tournament later this week.
“The biggest thing about this game is that we get to host the first round of the region,” Westview head coach J.B. Suiter said. “We wanted to play one more game at home, and now we have our chance.”
Haywood’s Kyler Douglas flashed open underneath for a layup that put the ’Cats ahead 68-56, but Johnson immediately responded with a triple at the other end.
Chris Evans knocked down a 3-pointer, and Antonio Hogard scored in the lane to whittle the difference to 74-69.
After a pair of free throws from Nigel Peeples with 1:42 remaining, Westview scored the final eight points of the game as Johnson bottomed another trey, and Hogard hit twice at the line and later scored in the lane following a Haywood turnover.
Haywood suffered its third crucial turnover of the final minute, and Baker was fouled on a drive into the paint.
“We just created more turnovers in the fourth quarter,” Suiter said. “We relied on our quickness and finished it. They’re young, and you’re able to do that to young teams sometimes. We’ve been effective in our fullcourt pressure most of the year.”
Johnson scored all 18 of his points on threes, hit six of his team’s 12 for the game. Evans led the Chargers with 20 points, and Hogard also scored 18.
“If Tyquis Johnson and Chris Evans don’t show up for a full game tonight, we’re in trouble,” Suiter said. “What a response from the kids.”
Douglas topped all players with 21, and both Montravious Maclin and Sadarius Delk were tough inside with 18 and 12, respectively.
Haywood spent most of the night scratching the surface of double-digit leads only to see Westview shoot the margin back down. The Tomcats were up 24-14 after one quarter and 44-36 at the half after briefly leading by 13 early in the second period.
“Haywood just flat-out whipped us the first three quarters,” Suiter said. “Maclin inside was a beast. But, we never backed down from what we were trying to do on both ends of the court.”
Haywood led by 11 (47-36) early in the third and by 10 (60-50) late with Westview getting as close as two (47-45) in between before the ’Cats carried a 62-53 lead into the final period. Published in The WCP 2.21.12

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