Westside’s third quarter threes spurred them to a 68-59 win over Tug Valley.
The AA No. 3 Renegades, who had just one three-pointer in the first half, sank four in a span of two minutes in a 21-2 run that gave them a 25-point lead.
That enabled them to hold off a fourth quarter Panther rally.
Junior point guard Will Fox knocked down three of the treys. “Will caught fire, and everyone else fed off that,” said Westside coach Nick Cook.
Tug Valley, No. 6 in Class A, pulled within 33-27 after Calvin Blankenship hit back-to-back treys early in the third. After a timeout, the Renegades started their big run with a Justin Cogar bucket inside. Fox had a steal and layup to make it 38-29. It was 42-29 when Westside nailed four straight from beyond the arc.
Fox had the first, and Corey Bowles hit another from the corner. Fox sank two more to boost the lead to 54-29. Tug Valley wasn’t done.
An 8-0 spurt capped by Thomas Baisden’s conventional three-point play shave the margin to 61-49 with 3:15 to play. But the Panthers never got closer than the final team.
“Anybody who thinks Tug Valley isn’t going to be a good team because of the people (who graduated) better drink a different koolaid,” Cook commented. “That’s a tough team.”
Westside was in front all the way, and used its press to create turnovers on the way to a quick 9-0 lead.
Fouls—there were 28 in the first half—“affected the flow of the game,” Cook said.
The Panthers warmed up in the second quarter and got within three a couple of time. WHS went on a 15-3 run to push the lead to 33-18.
Blankenship’s three just before the half left the Tug Valley with a 12-point deficit.
“We go on a 15-0 or 10-0 spurt, and then we’ll let the other team go on a 10—0 or 15-0 spurt,” stated Cook. “It’s like we have to make the game more interesting.”
Will Fox had 24 points and three steals for the Renegades (3-0). Justin Kenneda scored 15. Justin Cogar finished with 11 points and 12 boards. Corey Bowles scored 10 and had five steals. Blankenship paced the Panthers with 18. Baisden and Hayden Sturgell added 15 each.
“If you had told me we would be 3-0 after playing Greenbrier East, Independence and Tug Valley, I would have been pretty happy,” Cook said. “We’ve got a lot of things to work on, but I’m glad to be 3-0.”
WHS will host North Marion on Dec. 27.
Three-point goals: Tug Valley 4 (Blankenship 4); Westside 6 (Fox 3, Kenneda 2, Bowles)