by JOHN HOWLEY / sportingpumpkin.com
KINNIKINNICK — Westfall opened the season with a strong showing against Amanda-Clearcreek.
The Mustangs posted a 67-41 win over the Aces at the Zane Trace Tipoff Classic Wednesday.
Junior Brody Clark had 14 of his game-high 27 in the fourth quarter for the Mustangs while senior Casey Cline added 14.
“We knew what we had in Brody since he was a freshman, we just had to bring him along on the defensive end,” Westfall coach Christian Meister said. “Brody can really score with the basketball. And it’s huge for us because we have a really elite scorer on the other wing.
“Casey is a good high school basketball scorer. If Brody can score, that is going to relieve a lot of pressure from Casey.”
Cline had seven of his points in-a-row in the second quarter as part of a 9-0 Westfall run.
The Mustangs’ defense played a big role Wednesday, making up for early season mistakes on the offensive end.
“There were game one jitters. We talked before the game that you were going to miss some shots, there would be mistakes but we were going to hang our hat on the defensive end,” Meister said. “We were going to play hard, we’re going to compete and we’re going to execute defensively. I thought that was where a majority of our good stuff came from. We scored 67 and a lot of those came off the defensive end.”
“They were real aggressive with their switches and stuff, I think a lot of guys with first-year experience kind of froze up,” A-C coach Austin Smith said. “It took us out of a lot of sets by them switching hard.”
Hitting the boards was another key as Westfall ended the night with a 38-17 edge led by eight from Blaec Bugher and six from Henry Barnes.
“Two of our post players have never really been varsity in Henry and Jerry (Layton). Our big guys are our anchor but it all starts with our point guard Blaec Bugher. He communicates everything,” Meister said. “He’s probably the smartest kid I’ve ever coached in the sense that I tell him something and he’s great at communicating it out to everybody.”
“We knew that was going to be an issue,” Smith said. “We’ve talked about rebounding ever since practices started this season. If we were going to have a chance to win tonight, we had to rebound on both sides of the ball, and it had to be all five guys.”
The Aces were led in scoring by Tucker Shamblin who had 25 points.
“Tucker is our best player and he’s also our hardest working player,” Smith said. “It doesn’t really matter the circumstance or what it is, he’s going to try to find a way to win or find a way to get something done.”
Westfall 67, Amanda-Clearcreek 41
Westfall — Brody Clark 9-6-27, Casey Cline 6-1-14, Blaec Bugher 2-0-4, Jaden Towler 0-2-2, Isaiah Browning 1-1-4, Henry Barnes 3-0-6, Seth Gifford 2-3-7, Jeremiah Layton 1-1-3. Three-point goals — Clark (3), Cline, Browning. Total — 23-44 14-16 67.
Amanda-Clearcreek — Taylon Conrad 2-0-5, Tucker Shamblin 7-9-25, Brady Holbrook 1-0-3, Levi Owens 2-0-4, Brody Elder 1-0-2, Tanner Rose 1-0-2. Three-point goals — Conrad, Shamblin (2), Holbrook. Total — 15-48 9-10 41.
Quarter scores 1 2 3 4 F
Westfall 10 15 18 24 67
Am.-Clearcreek 7 8 11 15 41