Westside kept Greater Beckley Christian guessing and pulled out a win at literally the last second.
The Renegades held GBC scoreless for the final 2:51 and Justin Cogar’s tip at the buzzer lifted them to a 56-54 win at Clear Fork on Tuesday night.
WHS coach Nick Cook said his team changed defenses down the stretch.
“We used zone traps, man to man,” he commented. “We didn’t want them to get comfortable. And it caused them to turn it over several times.”
The last and biggest of the turnovers came with 11.6 seconds left, when GBC’s Elisha Kidd stepped on the sideline.
Westside’s Corey Bowles—honored before the game as a McDonald’s All-American nominee—drove down the court. His shot was off target, but Cogar tapped it in as time expired.
“We still haven’t put together four good quarters,” Cook commented. “We can’t count on edging these games out.”
GBC (9-4), ranked No. 4 in Class A, used its quickness to create transition opportunities in the second period. A 10-2 run, which included threes by Brent Daniels and Kidd, opened up a 29-21 lead.
A Bowles follow shot cut it to six at halftime.
Westside started to take the ball to the basket in the second half to keep the game close.
“We talked about it at halftime,” said Cook. “We fell in love with the three in the first half.”
The Renegades (10-2) tied the game, 42-42, late in the third on a Will Fox jumper from the lane.
GBC maintained a two to four-point edge in the final period, scoring its last points on Javonne Staunton-Bailey hit a 12-footer at the 2:51 mark to make it 54-50.
A Bowles bucket cut it two. Cogar tied it with a put back with 57 seconds to go.
Westside stole the ball but missed its chance to score.
GBC then gave it back to set up the finale.
“Our kids don’t panic, no matter how far behind they get,” Cook pointed out. “They fight to the bitter end.”
Cogar had 14 points for WHS, and Bowles scored 13. Levi Lambert (10), Browning (9), Fox (6) and Justin Kenneda (4) followed.
Staunton-Bailey connected for 15 for GBC, and Kidd scored 13. Daniels had nine. Joe Cornett, formerly of Wyoming East, added six.
WHS visits East this Friday.
John Conley can be reached at 304-732-6060 or on Twitter @PIHnews.
Photo: Justin Kenneda (with ball) of Westside is doubled teamed in Tuesday’s game with Greater Beckley Christian at Clear Fork.