Stone girls outlast Westlake
Deliver first win over Wolverines since the 2006-07 season
Several times in the second half of Friday night’s Southern Maryland Athletic Conference Potomac Division contest, the Westlake girls basketball team was able to rally back to within a basket, a point or even tie the score, but Thomas Stone just seemed to have an answer.
Then in the final three min- utes, the Cougars pulled away for a 62-51 home victory over the Wolverines.
Stone (8-3, 3-0 SMAC Potomac), which has started the month of January with two straight division wins, delivered its first win over Westlake since the 2006-07 season.
“It was all about composure and we played with that in the fourth quarter,” Stone head coach Jermel Escalera said. “We stuck to what we did do in practice and trusted each other and our system. The girls picked each other up and we prevailed in the end. Westlake is always a tough team and it felt good to get the win in front of our home crowd.”
Westlake took an early 6-2 lead, but Stone was ahead 19-13 at the end of the first quarter and went into the locker room with a 32-23 halftime lead. The
Wolverines outscored Stone 15-10 in the third to cut the lead to four, but Stone responded in the final period to win, thanks in part to pressure full-court defense that led to transition points.
Early in the fourth, Westlake cut Stone’s lead to 44-43 on a three-point- er from junior guard Jasmine Gholson (team-high 23 points), but that was the closest that it would get as Stone senior Octavia Hawkins and Rya Nelson com- bined for 13 of the team’s 20 fourth-quar- ter points to help seal the win.
“It was all about fighting and we want- ed this game tonight,” Hawkins said. “I was proud of my girls for coming out and showing what we can do. Last year we were young, but we have a lot more experience this season.”
Hawkins, who was honored with the 1,000-point ball midway in the first quar- ter, finished with a game-high 26 points, causing havoc all night in the paint and on the perimeter. Junior forward Sasha Francis sparked Stone with her versatil- ity, scoring 16 points.
“I just picked my spots and my team- mates put me in the right position to score,” Francis said. “Being in attack mode and staying aggressive every play on offense, and defense was the key for us in the win. In the fourth quarter we turned up the defense and were able to pull away.”
After Westlake (5-4, 1-1) went up 6-2 early in the first quarter, Stone went on a 7-0 run to take a 9-6 lead that they would never relinquish.
The Wolverines also got scoring from junior guard LaTavia Washington with 12 points.
“[Stone] outplayed us and they always play hard and you have to come ready to play,” Westlake head coach Marvin Binion II said. “They either got the steal or an offensive rebound, got deflections and they beat us to loose balls. They just wanted it more than us tonight. We need to cut down on our turnovers.”
The Wolverines are scheduled to host Patuxent at 6:30 p.m. Wednesday. Stone is slated to be at St. Charles, also at 6:30 p.m. Wednesday.
Westlake boys prevail
At Westlake High, the Wolverines were without starting senior guard and leading scorer Jeff Simmons, but held on for a 78-70 victory over the Cougars.
Westlake (8-2, 2-0) led 16-13 after one quarter, 29-25 at halftime and was up 5045 after three quarters. Stone (7-4, 0-2) took a one-point lead at one point in the fourth, but the Wolverines outlasted the Cougars 28-25 in the quarter to secure the win.
The Wolverines had four players in double figures as senior forward Amir Lawrence finished with 27 points, senior Chad Palmer finished with 12 points, and juniors Wayne Young and Jaimon Cheek scored 11 and 10 points, respectively.
Stone junior Kamau Mitchell finished with a team-high 20 points and seniors Gary Grant and Donovan McCrae added 14 and 11 points, respectively.
The Cougars are scheduled to host St. Charles at 6:30 p.m. Wednesday. Westlake is slated to be at Patuxent, also at 6:30 p.m. Wednesday.
Thomas Stone senior Octavia Hawkins looks to drive baseline as LaTavia Washington of Westlake defends in Friday night’s 62-51 win over the visiting Wolverines. Hawkins finished with a game-high 26 points in the victory.