Westside’s Corey Bowles came back in a big way.
The senior guard went 6-6 at the charity stripe in the final 40 seconds and scored 16 of his 21 points in the second half as the AA No. 5 Renegades beat No. 2 Bluefield, 62-57, on Monday night at the Big Atlantic Classic in Beckley.
Bowles was injured in a Jan. 10 game with Logan. The injury and a week of bad weather had kept him off the court since then.
WHS (8-2) became the first AA team to beat the Beavers since Tug Valley in the 2012 state championship game.
The Renegades held the lead most of the night and never trailed by more than two.
A technical foul called on a Bluefield player for dunking during warm ups put Westside in front before the tip off.
The Renegades had the upper hand until a Beavers mini-run put them in front for the first time at 22-21 late in the second period.
Bowles threw a long pass to Justin Kenneda, whose layup at the buzzer gave WHS a 29-28 halftime edge.
Bluefield star Anthony Eades, held to six points by the defense of Kenneda, hit at three in the third quarter to give his team its last lead at 38-36.
Larry Cook hit a trey to put Westside in front. The Renegades never trailed after that.
The teams were tied, 49-49, early in the final quarter when Bowles sank a three-pointer.
Levi Lambert scored off a dish from Bowles to push the margin to 54-49.
A Justin Cogar bucket made it 56-50.
The Beavers trimmed the deficit to 56-54 with less than a minute to play.
Bowles made four straight three throws to push the lead back to six.
Rebounding was a key in the Westside win. The Renegades had 17 offensive rebounds.
In addition to Bowles, WHS got 13 points from Cogar and 10 each from Lambert and Will Fox.
Lykel Collier scored 22 for Bluefield (22). Jordan Ponder had 14.
Westside will play the winner of the Wyoming East-Mount View game this Saturday at 2 p.m. in the championship contest.