by JOHN HOWLEY / sportingpumpkin.com
WILLIAMSPORT— Casey Cline hit a three-pointer in the closing moments of Friday’s game and that proved to be difference as Westfall beat visiting Adena 43-42.
“Tonight showed a lot of growth for our kids. We kind of came unraveled on Tuesday versus New Hope (a 54-49 loss) when things went bad,” Westfall coach Christian Meister said. “The ball didn’t fall all night – five for 28 from three and our two best shooters shoot 2-10 and 2-12 and most of them are wide open.
“To win a game where we didn’t put the ball in the hole well, it feels good to win one of those.”
The night started out well enough for the Mustangs as they scored the final eight points of the first quarter to lead 11-4.
With three-pointers from Blaec Bugher and Brody Clark and a basket from Brydan Gall, the Mustangs extended their lead to 19-8 midway through the second.
The tide turned a bit as the Warriors scored the last 10 points of the half to close to 19-18.
“(Adena) called a full timeout with three minutes left and I said, ‘This is where we’ve struggled all year, 19-8 turns into 25-22.’ They got to the paint whenever they wanted in that stretch and we started our cold streak,” Meister said.
Despite the way the half ended, Meister said there wasn’t concern in the locker room.
“The conversation at halftime was ‘we’re good,’” he said. “You tell me we’re up by one at half and Brody, Blaec and Casey have eight combined points. I’m taking that every single game because I know that they’ll get it going.
“They never did, but we hit the one that mattered and I’m really proud of our kids.”
Westfall got up 25-20 in the third before the period ended with Adena holding a 29-28 lead.
The Mustangs were leading 40-36 with 3:40 left in the game and the Warriors were able to get a score from Caleb Osborne and one from Bryson Smith to tie the game with two minutes remaining.
Andrew Vickers put Adena up two when he hit with 36 seconds on the clock.
Coming out of a timeout, the Mustangs worked the ball, Cline got a fairly open look at the hoop and let it fly from a foot behind the three-point line to put his team up with 17 seconds left.
The Warriors got one last shot but it was off the mark and Cline grabbed the rebound as time expired.
Along with a 64-52 win by Paint Valley over Southeastern Friday, the Mustangs sit in second place in the Scioto Valley Conference behind Zane Trace (9-0 SVC).
“We move to 7-2 in the league and tied for second with Paint Valley, who we got in the first round. If we have any shot, we have to win on Tuesday,” Meister said. “We’ve got to go down to Kinnikinnick and play hard.”
The Mustangs (9-7) finished the night with a 29-24 rebounding edge led by Henry Barnes with eight and Seth Gifford with seven.
“I’m super proud of our bigs tonight. I thought our bigs played not their best toughness during this little stretch,” Meister said. “Henry Barnes, in particular, was just tough tonight. I’m hoping we take that step where that toughness and physicality and that will to win – we call it ‘whatever it takes.’ We’ve been 2-4 in this last stretch, that’s where we’ve struggled with whatever it takes. Those whatever it takes balls won us the game tonight.”
Barnes was also Westfall’s leading scorer with 10 points while Clark and Cline each had eight.
Joedy Ater led Adena (4-12, 4-5) with 12 and Easton Hennes and Davis Kerns each had eight.
Westfall 43, Adena 42
Adena — Easton Henness 4-0-8, Andrew Vickers 2-0-4, Davis Kerns 4-0-8, JoedyAter 5-2-12, Bryson Smith 2-0-4, Bryson Smith 3-0-6. Total — 20-46 2-4 42.
Westfall — Brody Clark 3-0-8, Casey Cline 3-0-8, Blaec Bugher 2-0-5, Brydan Gall 2-0-4, HenryBarnes 5-0-10, Seth Gifford 1-2-4, Jeremiah Layton 2-0-4. Three-point goals — Clark (2), Cline (2), Bugher. Total — 18-49 2-4 43.
Quarter scores 1 2 3 4 F
Adena 4 14 11 13 42
Westfall 11 8 9 15 43