Westview pushed to No. 2 finish
Posted: Wednesday, February 22, 2012 1:08 pm
If Westview is going to advance any deeper into the postseason, it must rebound from a loss to Covington in the District 13AA Tournament finals.
And ‘rebound’ is the operative word.
Ninth-ranked Westview was manhandled badly on the glass for the second straight game and overwhelmed by Covington’s scrambling defensive pressure that keyed a 64-53 victory and kept Martin from claiming back-to-back 13AA tourney titles Monday night at Dyersburg High School.
The setback snapped an eight-game winning streak for Westview (24-6), which will now host the winner of tonight’s Jackson South Side-McNairy Central District 14 consolation game in Saturday’s regional quarterfinals.
A victory there would send Martin to the Region 7AA semis a week from tonight in Lexington.
In order to extend its season any further, however, Westview must bounce back from one of its more-lackluster performances of the season.
The Chargers, who managed to survive a semifinal game against Haywood in which there were out-rebounded by more than 20 rebounds, were beaten similarly on the backboards Monday by a Covington squad that attacked the rim on both ends.
Westview, which had split a pair of regular season games with their fellow Chargers, led only briefly in the initial minutes of the third contest and posted a season-low point total (17) in the first half while making just five field goals.
Covington then built a lead as big as 17 points in the third period before Martin made the final tally respectable — but never getting closer than nine.
“You had two teams out there, and we looked like the one that was just glad to be there,” said a disgusted Westview head coach J.B. Suiter, who briefly benched all five starters at one point early in the third quarter. “They just killed us on the glass, and they kept us out of the paint and forced us to do some things we really didn’t want to do with the ball with their defense.
“We had to settle for some things on the perimeter. We hurried shots, took some bad ones and just didn’t play like we’re capable of playing or like we have for much of the season.”
Covington (24-5), the tourney’s top seed after winning the regular season league championship and winners of seven straight since last losing to Westview on Jan. 27, harassed the Chargers at every turn and contested virtually every pass and shot.
Martin trailed 15-6 after one, 27-17 at the half and by as much as 39-23 halfway through the third quarter.
Chris Evans made a 3-pointer, then two free throws on consecutive possessions in the final minute of the frame to give Westview a brief sign of life and the margin was reduced to 10 points in the fourth quarter twice by a pair of Jazelle Baker buckets.
The outcome was never really in doubt though, as two hoops by Antonio Hogard in the last 60 seconds got Westview as close as it would get (62-53).
Baker had 19 points, Hogard 15 and Evans 13 to pace the Weakley Countians in the scoring department.
Hogard made both the all-district and all-tournament teams, while Baker and Javier Gordon were also picked for the all-district squad, based on regular season play. Evans and Tyquis Johnson joined Hogard on the all-tourney list.
Evans and Adam Reinhart were named to the all-academic team. Published in The WCP 2.21.12