by JOHN HOWLEY / sportingpumpkin.com
Westfall made the most of its part in the return of the Circleville holiday tournament with a 51-42 win over the Tigers.
Casey Cline led the Mustangs with 17 points while Trevor Wolfe put in 14.
“We were passing the ball and everyone was on shooting at the start of the game,” Cline said. “Circleville started catching on and Seth (Gifford) did a fantastic job getting the boards. Maybe even if he didn’t, he crashed it and the ball came to Trevor or me or Brody (Clark). Everyone just did fantastic overall. It was a great team win.”
The Mustangs got out to a 19-10 lead after the first quarter and had a 25-19 edge at halftime. Westfall extended its lead to 44-32 after three quarters.
“Our guys always come out and play with a ton of energy and a ton of effort,” Westfall assistant coach DJ Malone said. “Today was not too much different. Understanding that there are a lot of different things that could come back and injure us with guys being sick, coaches being out and games being cancelled – it could be easy for our guys to be mentally fatigued.
“With it being a local game, a county game, it’s something that they really wanted to come out from the beginning and impose our will on the game. I think they did an awesome job with that today.”
Malone was guiding the Mustangs as head coach Christian Meister was out for family needs. Circleville was without its head coach as well, as Cody Carpenter is away from the team due to Covid.
“Coach Meister — prayers to him — he wasn’t here and I know some of our players have been experiencing some fatigue from all the stuff going around,” Cline said. “Circleville lost one of their great players in Briley (Cramer), their coach – it sucks. I know we’re going to keep on track. We have a lot of practices for our next game Friday (Jan. 7 at Huntington).”
Assistant Josh Rodich was at the helm for the Tigers and attributed the Mustangs’ hustle to their strong start, which put the Tigers at a disadvantage.
“They beat us by the loose balls in the first quarter. We dug ourselves too much of a hole and they did a great job defensively on us,” he said. “Trying to find some consistency on offense that’s what we’re really striving for. We’re still trying to figure out our identity as a team, and then having our head coach out with Covid – this is my first year here, so kids are still getting used to me and my coaching style and I’m still getting used to them.”
Craig Fleck had 16 points and 10 rebounds to lead the Tigers and Trevor Coleman added 10 points, all coming in the fourth quarter.
Westfall had a 31-19 rebounding edge in the contest. Gifford had nine rebounds to lead the Mustangs.
“Any given night we can have any guy go for 15 to 20 (points) and some nights we’re going to have two or three do it,” Malone said. “That’s one thing that we challenge our guys on that no matter who it is that night, they’re going to give something to the team even if it’s not points. Seth did a great job rebounding today, Trevor did a great job scoring and rebounding today. Even little things like Tyler Shipley did a phenomenal job with offensive rebounding and getting the loose balls – it seemed like he was on every single loose ball today. That’s what we have to commit to as a team.
“Our motto for the year is “All in” and it’s going to take everybody to be all in for us to win this year.”
Had things gone as originally scheduled, the Mustangs would be returning to Circleville Wednesday night to play the winner of the New Hope / Washington Court House game. New Hope had to pull out of the event, which canceled the first game Tuesday, and Fairfield High School was going to come up Wednesday to play in the early game with WCH taking on Tuesday’s winner in the second game. But Fairfield had to back out as well.
All the rescheduling also resulted in the cancellation of the JV holiday tournament.
The Wednesday schedule is now set to feature Circleville’s reserve team playing Unioto at 5:30 and Circleville’s varsity playing Washington Court House at 7.
Westfall 51, Circleville 42
Westfall — Casey Cline 7-3-17, Brody Clark 2-1-5, Trevor Wolfe 4-3-14, Austin Nunemaker 1-2-5, Tyler Shipley 2-1-6, Seth Gifford 2-0-4. Three-point goals — Wolfe (3), Nunemaker, Shipley. Total — 18-42 10-13 51.
Circleville — Matt Bradley 1-0-2, Trevor Coleman 4-1-10, Parker Kidwell 2-2-6, Preston Hulse 2-0-6, Ian Warden 1-0-2, Craig Fleck 6-4-16. Three-point goals — Coleman, Hulse (2). Total — 16-38 7-8 42.
Quarter scores 1 2 3 4 F
Westfall 19 6 19 7 51
Circleville 10 9 13 10 42