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CERRO GORDO—The West Brunswick boys’ basketball team completed a season sweep of West Columbus by beating the Vikings 61-49 Dec. 4.
The Trojans led 19-4 after the first quarter, but the Vikings rallied by hitting 3-pointers—nine for the game—and cut the lead to 44-42 entering the final eight minutes. West Brunswick then outscored the Vikings 8-0 in taking a 53-42 lead with 4:38 left and went on to the victory.
For the Trojans (2-1), senior Markel Jones scored 13 points, junior Zaire Hankins and sophomore Gray Cheers nine each and junior O.J. Hill eight.
The game was similar to one played last year at West Columbus, in which the Trojans built a big lead early and had to hold off a Viking rally.
“I told the guys yesterday,” Trojan coach Eric Davis said, ‘We’re going to be in for a dogfight.’ They went to the Eastern Regional finals last year.”
Davis’ prediction came true after the first quarter. Each team scored 15 point in the second quarter and the Vikings outscored the Trojans 23-10 in the third quarter in cutting the lead to 44-42.
“I told them (during the break) we got to get three stops in a row,” Davis said.
And that is what the Trojans did. Hankins hit a jumper and senior Quentin Ash scored, giving West a 48-42 lead and causing the Vikings to call a timeout.
When play resumed, Ash scored on a goaltending call and Hankins hit a 3-pointer from the left wing, giving the Trojans a 53-42 lead.
The Vikings scored with 4:38 left, but by then the Trojans had regained control of the game and went on to outscore the Vikings 17-7 in the quarter.
“That’s what it comes down to,” Davis said. “Tight game on the road you got to get stops.”
Davis was pleased with the victory because of the way his team kept its composure in the fourth quarter.
“We grew up a little bit tonight,” he said.
Other West scorers: Phil Gause 4, Khyne Daniels 3, Antonio Clarida 3, Ash 6, Saadiq Johnson 6.
West JV boys
The West Brunswick junior varsity boys’ basketball team beat West Columbus 37-25, increasing its winning steak to 14 games. West Brunswick led 17-0 after the first quarter and 24-4 at halftime. For the Trojans, Nasir Murray scored 10 points and Hill 6.
Lady Trojans win
The West Brunswick varsity girls’ basketball team beat West Columbus 60-29, completing a season sweep. West had beaten the Vikings 59-10.
Sophomore Yana Bland scored 20 points, made 10 steals and had six assists for the Trojans (2-1). Senior Allison Brown and sophomore Sophomore Leilani Emile each scored 10 points. Sophomore Bre Small made seven steals. Junior Dazia Gause grabbed 16 rebounds.
West Brunswick led 12-11 after the first quarter but outscored the Vikings 21-7 in the second quarter in taking a 33-18 lead. In the quarter, Bland scored eight points. She made three steals in an 8-0 run in which West took a 22-13 lead. Steals by Small and senior Kianna Pigott led to the final two scores and a 28-14 lead. A 3-pointer by senior Brie Hill from the left wing put West ahead 33-18 at halftime.
The Trojans outscored the Vikings 11-3 in the third quarter as Emile and junior Katie King each scored four points and helped give West a 44-21 lead.
The victory came four days after a loss 71-15 to North Myrtle Beach (S.C.) High School.
“I am very proud of the way we bounced back,” West coach Mark Jones said.
“I am proud of the way we’re playing hard the whole game. The girls are working together as a team.”
Jones noted seniors and younger players contributed to the victory.
“Yana can do everything,” Jones said. “She can play good defense. She is a good ball handler. She can shoot well.
“She, Bre and Kianna are a good match out there together. Leilani has come into her own. I’ve been proud of Allison Brown playing hard all the time, good senior leadership. All my seniors are stepping up. They’ve been keeping the team together. Everybody has been playing hard and getting along.”
Other West scorers: Small 1, Pigott 2, Deja Jones 2, King 6, Hill 3, Gause 6.
The Vikings dressed seven players for the game. West played without injured guard Grace Young, who will be out for the year, Jones said.
West JV girls
The West Brunswick junior varsity girls’ basketball team beat West Columbus 26-13. For West (2-1), Yasmine Daniels scored nine points. Britnee Taylor hit a 3-pointer and scored five points.