Friday’s varsity boys basketball matches featured a Westwood dominating performance, an Elkhart struggle and a Grapeland victory during the Houston County Hoopfest.
Westwood 82, Timpson 36
Westwood dominated Timpson from the beginning of the game, and kept the pressure up with a 31-point explosion in the second quarter to seal up the 82-36 victory.
In the second quarter, Timpson committed turnover after turnover and Westwood showed a bit of its fast-break quickness as it scored point after point.
At halftime, Westwood had a commanding 51-18 lead.
The second half had much of the same play as Westwood kept pouring on the aggressive defensive pressure and making Timpson turn the ball over.
“We did some things early in the game defensively that caused them some problems,” Westwood coach Scott Nettles said. “Our defense led to some offense and got us a pretty good little lead. In our offensive transition, I’ve got a sophomore point guard that’s been starting the past couple of weeks and he’s starting to really come along and be able to find some people and get the ball where it needs to be.”
Westwood’s reward for winning the game against Timpson was a matchup with Class A Div. I No. 2 Grapeland Sandies later that afternoon.
“Against Grapeland, you just got to hope your team can focus with the short turnaround,” Nettles said. “We have to play at a high level and be competitive. We’re missing a couple of kids because it’s a holiday tournament, but you just have to play who you have and hope for the best.”
Coldspring 59, Elkhart 46
In the second game of the day, Elkhart had a rough go and came away with a loss against Coldspring, 59-46.
The Elks started off the first quarter with a strong performance and even led at the end of it with a score of 13-12.
But like in the Westwood game, a second quarter 18-8 surge for Coldspring had the Elks with their backs against the wall.
Elkhart came out of halftime with a solid start to the third quarter. Elkhart’s Jeffery Wilson helped led the Elks to try for the comeback with his 24-point outing, but the Elks didn’t have enough to pull out the victory.
Coldspring outscored Elkhart 17-13 in the third quarter to increase the lead to a 13-point cushion going into the fourth quarter.
The fourth and final frame of the match had Elkhart needing to toss up three pointers to try to keep up with Coldspring’s fast-paced offense.
Elkhart and Coldspring both put up 12 points in the fourth quarter to give Coldspring the victory and to move on in the tournament.
Grapeland 85, Westwood 62
Westwood’s victory against Timpson left them with a date with the No. 2 team in Class A Div. I in the Grapeland Sandies.
After a quick start for Westwood, Grapeland was able to put up 30 points in the second quarter to come away with the 85-62 victory.
In the first quarter, Westwood came out strong and with a lot of energy, which caused Grapeland to call an early timeout.
After the timeout, however, Grapeland went on a 10-4 run to finish the quarter just three points shy of the Panthers.
“I hate screaming and yelling, and I’m not happy because I had to do some of that early on in the game,” Grapeland coach Owen Clifton said after the win. “That’s the third first quarter in a row that we’ve played miserably. We can’t afford to come out and spot teams that many points, especially in district play.
“I was really proud of the hustle and the effort after the first quarter,” Clifton added. “I thought they did a real good job implementing that full-court man defense and sticking with them (Westwood).”
The second quarter was a different story for both teams as Grapeland found a way to get its offense going, and Westwood’s offense started to sputter.
Westwood coach Scott Nettles said he was proud of how his team came out to start the game, but thought they could have played better throughout the rest.
“First quarter, obviously, we came out and played at a pretty high energy level,” Nettles said. “We played well and got some shots to fall. With a team like Grapeland, you know they’re going to get runs. It’s all about how your team is able to respond to those runs, and from part of the second quarter into the third quarter, we weren’t able to respond to those runs.”
Grapeland outscored Westwood 30-10 in the second quarter and continued to play well throughout the rest of the game with help from its bench play.
The depth of the Sandies helped get the Friday night win, but ultimately, the three main starters for Grapeland finished the game off right.
Patrick Walker finished with 22 points for Grapeland along with Jacolby Simpson’s 18-point affair and William Whitehead’s 18-point and 14-rebound performance.
“I thought Walker came out and was pretty flat and Simpson wasn’t as sharp as normal, but as a team, we played great defense,” Clifton said. “I thought the stars of tonight for us were our bench players. I thought we had a couple of players who came off the bench and helped provide some points for us when our starters started to not do as well. Those bench players helped keep us in the game, especially in the second quarter. Otherwise, this game could’ve been ugly.”