- The Enterprise
- The Recorder
Whether it was from the three-point line or an assist to a teammate for the open layup, the Westlake boys basketball team did it all in Monday night’s home contest versus county rival McDonough.
Exploding out to an 11-point lead after the first quarter, the Wolverines’ double-digit lead grew to 17 points by halftime, thanks in part to their hot three-point shooting out of the zone and transition points off turnovers.
McDonough responded with a 26-point third quarter and went on to outscore Westlake 47-35 in the second half, but it wasn’t enough. The Wolverines held off the feisty Rams for the eventual 75-70 victory.
The contest was scheduled to have been played on Friday but was moved to Monday because of the weather. It was the second time this season that Westlake defeated McDonough, the first being a 72-66 non-conference win Dec. 7.
Westlake, which bounced back from an 89-57 defeat last Tuesday versus Calvert, made some key adjustments in the second half to pull off the win over McDonough.
“We went to a spread offense and attacked the rim,” Westlake head coach Edward Mouton Sr. said. “We didn’t settle for a lot of jumpshots in the second half, and once [McDonough] converged on us, we found the open man.”
Westlake (12-4, 5-1 SMAC) will travel to Northern tonight for a 7 p.m. tip-off and host county rival North Point at 7 p.m. Friday in the second of a boys-girls doubleheader.
Mouton continued, “This is a big week for us, and it’s all about preparation. We still have to play the whole 32 minutes; if we don’t do that, it’s hard to win.”
Westlake had four players in double figures. Senior Desi Wiseman scored a team-high 19 points, while senior guards Charles Clark and Phillip Jackson scored 18 and 17, respectively, and junior forward Chris Craft added 10 points, grabbed 11 rebounds and had three blocked shots.
The Wolverines made 12 three-pointers, while the Rams made 10.
“We weathered the storm and didn’t get down when McDonough came back,” said Jackson, who made four threes in the contest. “We stayed confident pretty much, and everyone looked for their shot.”
Trailing by nine points entering the fourth quarter, McDonough (8-8, 2-4) later cut the Wolverines lead to 66-61 with four minutes left in regulation, but Wiseman would nail one of his five threes to put Westlake up by eight.
“We just took what the defense gave us,” Wiseman said. “When they went zone, we made the defense shift and worked the basketball around to get the open shot. We have to continue to work hard on defense.”
The Rams were brought to within 72-66 with one of Nick Lee’s (9 points) three three-pointers with 2 minutes 15 seconds left and came to within 74-70 on back-to-back baskets from forward Casey Phillips (12 points) with less than 30 seconds remaining, but the visitors ran out of time; Westlake ran out the clock.
Senior guard Marquel Austin led McDonough and all scorers with 21 points. Austin helped pace the Rams comeback in the second half with his tough drives to the basket and knocking down free throws.
“In the first half, I wasn’t looking to score,” said Austin, who made 10 of 12 free throws (83 percent) in the game. “But in the second half, I was more aggressive and, as a team, we pushed. We just came up short. With [Westlake] shooting threes early, that really hurt us in the first half, and we had to play catch up for the rest of the game. We have to work on our rebounding and not turning over the basketball.”
With its fast-paced and up-tempo style, Westlake quickly jumped out to the 24-13 first-quarter lead and broke things open in the second quarter to take a 40-23 halftime lead.
“We showed some effort in the second half and showed what we can do when we come to play,” McDonough head coach Eulo Regala said. “We just have to put two halves together and we will be fine.”
The Rams will travel to Chopticon for a 7 p.m. contest tonight.
Westlake girls rout McDonough
After falling to Calvert at home last Wednesday, Westlake bounced back with a 60-28 victory over host McDonough.
This game was also postponed by weather Friday and played Monday.
After both teams were tied at 9 after the first quarter, the Wolverines (11-5, 5-1) out-scored McDonough 51-19 for the rest of the game.
Sophomore Paige Perminter scored a game-high 18 points for Westlake, and senior guard Ashley Pittman had nine points. Breanna Gleaton grabbed 17 rebounds.
McDonough (6-7, 2-3) was led by Adasia Ortiz with nine points, and senior Robin Heard had scored eight points and grabbed 18 boards.
Westlake will host Northern, and the Rams will take on visiting Chopticon. Both games are scheduled for 6:30 tonight.