The 3s rained early, but Westside High School’s defense ultimately won the night.
The Patriots both opened and closed well, with a dominant fourth quarter clinching a 54-42 win at Lakeside on Tuesday.
“Defense wins ball games,” Westside coach Marvin Fields said. “We had to really gut it out on defense.”
After Lakeside’s Tray Simpson drilled a 3-pointer to cut the Panthers’ deficit to 40-35 after three quarters, Westside held Lakeside to just two field goals in the fourth quarter.
With turnovers and missed shots, Lakeside fell further behind as the remaining time dwindled.
Westside’s Ronald Campbell knocked down a 3-pointer early in the fourth and later scored on a floater. He scored seven points in the quarter, part of a game-high 20.
Teammates Roosevelt Isom and Rashon Taylor also scored important points down the stretch as the Patriots outscored the Panthers 14-7 in the fourth quarter.
Early in the game, the Patriots used a flurry of 3-pointers, hitting five of their nine in the first quarter to lead 16-8.
Mark Weidenaar’s 13 points helped the Panthers come back. But Westside took control, capitalizing on its defensive play and ability to get to the hoop.
“We started to attack the basket,” Fields said. “You have to have some balance.”
In the girls game, Westside took advantage of turnovers and some bad shots by the Lady Panthers to win, 50-35.
But much concern was centered on Lakeside’s Cassie Bryant, who struck her head when she tried to race down and stop a layup attempt. She hit her head on the wall and was taken to a hospital.
“Obviously her life is a whole lot more important than a basketball game,” Lakeside coach Jody Hilley said. “Those are like my kids.”
Hilley said Bryant was initially out for about 10-12 minutes but was breathing and had a good pulse. He said she probably suffered a concussion.
Westside had the edge inside, often winning crucial boards as well as earning fast break opportunities during key stretches.
Both teams had a high number of turnovers, but the Lady Patriots did a better job of taking advantage behind Azia Gibson and Ritzy Griffin, who both had 12 points.
“We’re 6-2 but we got to get a lot better,” Westside coach Ivory Hugee said. “We got to quit depending on our talent and play hard.”