The Palestine Herald, Palestine, Texas

Local Sports

January 8, 2013

H.S. Boys Basketball: Westwood takes control of 19-2A with defeat of Crockett

In the midst of a playoff-like atmosphere, the Westwood boys’ basketball team proved Tuesday that it may be the class of District 19-2A.

In front of a standing-room only crowd at Westwood High School, the 17th-ranked Panthers took blow after blow from visiting Crockett, only to answer back every time.

Westwood earned a 63-58 win, improving to 14-7 overall but, more importantly, 4-0 in district play.

The Panthers looked like it might put the game away in the third quarter, edging to a double-digit lead on numerous occasions.

The first came on the back of Jacobee Newton. The sophomore post made a free throw to make it 40-30 and then, with less than two minutes to play in the third, got an offensive rebound, put it back for the basket and got fouled.

He made his foul shot and Westwood had its biggest lead of the night at 43-30.

That double-digit advantage held up into the fourth, but Crockett clawed back in the fourth.

The Bulldogs got a big three Coby Berry with just over five minutes to play to cut the Westwood lead to 49-42, and a bucket from Tevin Collins made it 49-44 seconds later.

Crockett got the lead down to four with just under two minutes to play when Collins got a basket and was fouled, making his foul shot.

Then, Westwood answered. Again.

On the Panthers next possession, Chris Thompson hit a pull-up jumper from 12 feet to extend the lead back to six.

Things got tense only once more, when a jump ball between Dra Ross and a Crockett player was changed to a foul on Ross. That sent Crockett to the line where they hit both free throws, cutting the lead to three points.

But, Thompson came up big again, hitting a free throw to make it a two-possession game.

Crockett then turned the ball over the next time down the court, and J.J. Turner hit two free throws with 14 seconds left to ice the game for good.

Both teams came out strong against stiff defensive pressure, and Westwood held an 11-9 advantage after the first quarter. It was a lead that the Panthers never relinquished.

Westwood led 28-23 at the half and outscored Crockett 15-9 in the third to put some distance between the Panthers and previously unbeaten in district Bulldogs.

The Panthers presented a balanced scoring attack, with no player scoring more than 12 but six players scoring at least eight.

Ross led the way with a double-double. The senior had 12 points and 10 rebounds in the win, while L.J. Hutchison added 11 points and six rebounds.

Both Josh Denby and Turner finished with nine, while Thompson and Newton each had eight.

Collins led Crockett with 20 while Berry added 14. Michael McKnight had nine and X’avior Berry added seven in the loss.

Westwood returns to action Friday when they travel to Garrison. Games begin at 5 p.m.

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