Westlake boys trounce Gaithersburg
Three other Charles County teams fall
On the opening day of the Hol- iday Hoops Classic at Westlake High School, the first three Charles County teams to take the floor all tasted defeat. So it was up to the Wolverines boys squad to salvage a hint of dignity for the county teams in the finale by trouncing Gaithers- burg, 77-61.
Westlake (5-1) has relied primar- ily on Jeff Simmons for offensive production through the early stag- es of the season and on Wednes- day evening the Wolverines senior scored 16 points in the first half and finished with 21. But in the second half he got ample help from Amir Lawrence, who also finished with 21 points.
“I thought we did a good job moving the ball around tonight,” said Westlake coach Ed Mouton. “When we move the ball and pass as well as we did tonight and attack the basket, we’re pretty tough to beat. We got plenty of scoring in the first half from Jeff and then in the second half we kept attack- ing the basket and got some easy buckets.”
Simmons, who is averaging near- ly 23 points per game for the Wolverines this season, set the tone in the first half by hitting two threepoint field goals in the first quarter and then another in the second. With the Gaithersburg defense now focused on limiting Simmons from the perimeter, Lawrence and his Wolverines teammates were more adapt at attacking the basket.
“I felt pretty confident in the first half,” Simmons said. “When I hit my shots from the outside, everything started to open up inside. I focused more on passing the ball to my teammates in the second half. Amir and the other guys did a great job attacking the basket. When we play like we did tonight, we’re not concerned about anyone.”
In the girls game that preceded
it, the host Westlake girls dom- inated the first half against Chancellor (VA), but the Fred- ericksburg team owned the second half. After the Wolver- ines limited the Chargers to a meager 14 points in the first half, Chancellor matched that production in the third quarter to get within three points and then limited Westlake to a grand sum of five points in the fourth quarter en route to a 4836 victor y.
“They just wanted it more than we did,” said Westlake (33) coach Marvin Binion. “We did not do a good job on the boards. They beat us to every loose ball. We did not want it as much as they did. They dominated the boards. They got the offensive rebounds and second chances. We didn’t rebound and we settled for too many outside shots.”
Westlake junior Jasmine Gholson led the Wolverines with 12 points despite being held scoreless in the fourth quarter. Afterward, Gholson gradually lost her composure while speaking about a game that her squad allowed to slip away. Instead of facing Calvert in Thursday’s final, the Wolver- ines would get McDonough in the early consolation.
“We didn’t play our best,” Gholson said. “They definitely played harder. They got the rebounds and we didn’t. They got a lot of second-chance bas- kets. We didn’t run our offense in the fourth quarter. We have to regroup and come back. We need to win [the consolation] to get our confidence back.”
In the opening game of the day on Wednesday, the Mc- Donough High School girls basketball team forged a 26-21 halftime lead over Calvert. But the Cavaliers outscored the Rams 13-3 in the third quarter to take a four-point lead into the final frame and the Prince Frederick school eventually departed with a 49-43 victory.
Calvert’s Tatyana Jones led the Cavaliers rally with 13 points, while Jalaysia Weems added 12 and Alexis Commodore had 10. McDonough’s Madison Tompkins led all scorers with 16 points, while Rams teammate Jordan Mc- Duffie added 11 in a losing cause. Calvert was slated to face Chancellor in Thursday’s championship game, while McDonough would play Westlake in the consolation.
In the other boys game on Wednesday afternoon, St. Charles (4-2) was also caught in a defensive struggle with Maine-Endwell (N.Y.) and the Spartans eventually fell, 47-43. While Maine-Endwell advanced to Thursday’s championship game against host Westlake, St. Charles would return to face Gaithersburg in the boys consolation game.
Westlake High School senior Jeff Simmons, right, scored 21 points on Wednesday to lead the Wolverines to a 77-61 victory over Gaithersburg in one of two Holiday Hoop Classic semifinals.