By MICHAEL S. ADAMS
H-P Sports Writer
CROCKETT — Westwood had a sense of deja’ vu Friday night.
Crockett senior Cannon Earp scored 19 points in the third quarter and single-handily erased a six-point Westwood lead at halftime to lead the Bulldogs (3-0) over the Panthers 67-52 at Bulldog Gymnasium.
Last year, Westwood took a nine-point lead into the locker room at halftime when Earp hit three-straight three-point field goals in the first minute of the second half.
Earp finished Friday’s game with 34 points and seven rebounds and was 6-of-9 from the three-point line. Earp scored 25 points in the second half after being held to nine fist half points.
“They started recognizing (Earp) was hot and started passing him the ball,” Westwood head coach David Reed said. “I told our kids they did everything they could, but we ran up against a buzz saw that was hot.”
The Panthers (1-2, 7-9) got a team-high 26 points from Gralyn Crawford, who was 4-of-13 from behind the three-point line.
Westwood trailed by eight points at the end of the first quarter and the Bulldogs extended the lead to 10 early in the second quarter.
The Panthers however, led by a hot-shooting Robert Oberlander and Terris Nichols started a 16-0 run at the 5:30 mark to take the six-point lead at halftime.
Westwood shot 50 percent in the first half and hit 7-of-10 field goals in the second quarter.
Crockett’s size seemed not to be a problem for Westwood as the Bulldogs only had two more rebound than Westwood at halftime.
Defensively, Westwood forced 11 Bulldog turnovers in the first half while the Panthers only committed three.
“Everyone was getting after it,” Reed said. “I can’t say enough about our effort and we realized in the second quarter we could play with them.”
That feeling was short lived, but not before Westwood opened their lead to eight points in the first minute.
After a 30 second time-out by Crockett, Earp woke up and went his rampage, making two straight three pointers and a field goal to tie the game at the 4:07 mark.
Within the next seven seconds, Earp hit another field goal, scoring 14 points in four minutes to give Crockett a two-point lead.
After an exchange of leads in three minutes, Earp tied the game with 41 seconds left in the third quarter and extended the lead to six with a three pointer at the buzzer.
“We ran everything we could at them,” Reed said. “We were guarding him and recognized the screens they set for him, he was just hot.”
Crawford put Westwood back in the game and tied the game in the first 13 seconds of the final quarter.
But Earp wasn’t finished.
The senior hit a field goal for his 30th point at the 6:04 mark to give Crockett a four-point lead, its biggest since the first quarter.
Earp hit another three-point field goal with 3:49 and extended the Bulldog lead to seven points.
“We started hitting the panic button there in the fourth quarter and started taking bad shots,” Reed said. “I am looking forward to getting them in our place.”
Nichols scored nine points and grabbed a team-high seven rebounds while Oberlander put down eight points and was a perfect 4-for-4 from the floor.
Crockett’s Traderian Collins pulled down a game-high 10 rebounds to go with his six points while Tracy Copper had eight points for the night.
Westwood will host cross-town rival Palestine Tuesday night.
By MICHAEL S. ADAMS
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