While Casey Cline and Brody Clark certainly provided the offensive fireworks on Tuesday, combining for 58 points in a 78-65 Scioto Valley Conference win over the visiting Unioto Sherman Tanks, Westfall coach Christian Meister knew that only told part of the story in sweeping the season series.
“I was happy with our unselfishness on the offensive end tonight. I know we had two guys score a bunch of points, but this was truly a team effort,” he said. “Each guy being a star in their role is the reason for big wins like this. Our three bigs — Jerry Layton, Henry Barnes and Seth Gifford — came up huge in rebounding and communicating defensively for us against an extremely physical and athletic team.
“Brydan Gall came off the bench and provided us with much needed spark defensively. Not many teams bring their best athlete and defender off the bench but that is a luxury we have with Brydan. Blaec Bugher continues to lead us. He is the quarterback for us out there and his leadership and unselfishness is a big reason for our offensive output tonight and in these last 3 games.”
The Mustangs shot 27 of 41 (65.8 percent) from the field, including a blistering 11 of 16 (68.8 percent) from three-point range.
Cline made 9 of his first 10 shots and finished 11 of 16 (68.8 percent) from the field in leading all scorers with 32 points, 29 of those coming in the first half. The Westfall senior also contributed four steals.
Clark was 9 of 12 (75 percent) from the field and followed with 26 points, 21 of those coming in the second half. Bugher scored nine points and dished out five assists and Layton chipped in seven points. Barnes and Gifford combined for eight rebounds.
Cline had a hand in every Westfall basket in the first quarter, knocking down seven shots that included showing off his mid-range game, ability to get to the basket and also knocking down a trio of three-pointers.
The Westfall senior also assisted field goals by Clark and Layton to cap a first quarter that ended with the Mustangs holding a 23-14 lead.
“Casey got himself going on the defensive end starting off with two steals and layups early,” Meister said. “Nights where he comes in with a mindset on his defensive matchup and rebounding are usually the nights he has his best scoring outputs. I’m proud of him for recognizing the way he was being guarded in the second half and being unselfish and trusting his teammates.”
Cline opened the second quarter by drilling two more triples from the left wing and to the left of the top of the key to help the Mustangs (12-9, 9-4) extend their lead to 29-16.
Unioto (13-8, 7-6) battled back to close the quarter on a 20-11 run and cut Westfall’s lead to 40-36 going into halftime.
With the Shermans face-guarding Cline in the second half, it was time for Clark to take his turn leading the Mustangs’ offense.
The Westfall junior scored 11 points in the third quarter. Clark drained a pair of mid-range jumpers from the wings and then took a pass from Gall and tickled the nylon cords with the first of his two triples of the period that helped the Mustangs extend their lead to 57-42.
“Brody had a great second half to continue his current hot streak he is on,” Meister said. “He allowed the game to come to him and took advantage of his opportunities when he got them offensively.
“Brody is shooting the ball confidently right now and his teammates are doing a great job finding him. I am happy for him after he had a rough shooting month in January coming back from his injury.”
Unioto scored the final seven points of the quarter, including five points on its final trip down the court thanks to a technical fall on the Westfall bench and a three to beat the buzzer from Blake Fitch, cutting Westfall’s lead to 57-49.
Clark opened the fourth by taking a feed from Bugher and nailing another triple from the left wing. Later in the quarter, Bugher pushed the Mustangs’ advantage to 67-53 on a nifty drive to the basket.
KB Perkins and Maddox Fox each scored 16 points and Fitch followed with 13 for the Shermans, who have lost their last five meetings against Westfall.
The Mustangs start a two-game home series with conference rival Piketon (6-14, 4-9) that will conclude the regular season on Friday and then open tournament play on Feb. 21
Westfall 78, Unioto 65
UNIOTO — Zeke Schobelock 3-2-9, KB Perkins 7-2-16, Maddox Fox 7-2-16, Blake Hoops 3-0-6, Blake Fitch 5-2-13, Ashton Crace 2-1-5. Three-point goals — Schobelock and Fitch. Total — 27 9-18 65.
WESTFALL — Brody Clark 9-4-26, Casey Cline 11-4-32, Blaec Bugher 2-4-9, Henry Barnes 1-0-2, Seth Gifford 1-0-2, Jerry Layton 3-1-7. Three-point goals — Cline (6), Clark (4) and Bugher. Total — 27 14-17 78.
Quarter scores 1 2 3 4 F
Unioto 14 22 13 16 65
Westfall 23 17 17 21 78