Simmons scores 39 as Westlake boys top Lackey
Simmons scores 39 points as Westlake boys down Lackey
Jeff Simmons has quietly stamped himself as one of the top players in the Southern Maryland Athletic Conference.
In Wednesday night’s SMAC Potomac Division contest at Lackey, the Westlake senior guard put on a scoring display with a game-high 39 points en route to the Wol- verines’ 67-51 victory over the Chargers in Indian Head.
Westlake (16-4, 9-1 SMAC Potomac) is still atop the division and with two regular sea- son games left and can clinch the Potomac title and earn a berth the SMAC championship game against the winner of the Ches- apeake Division with a win Wednesday at home versus St. Charles. Tip-off is scheduled for 7 p.m.
Lackey (15-4, 7-3) won the first meeting this season over Westlake, 61-56 on Jan. 13. In a 66-23 victory over Patuxent on Jan. 11, a group of Westlake players — all five normal starters who were sent to the bench early due to the lopsided score — left the bench after an altercation due to a foul on a play. As a result, the players received a one-game suspension and therefore did not play in that contest.
The Lackey defense did not have an answer in Wednesday’s rematch for the 6-foot2, 190-pound Simmons as he scored the Wolverines’ first nine points of the game and 15 of the team’s first 19 points en route to 29 first-half points.
“It was important that he got off to a quick start and get us going so that we could feed off of him,” Westlake head coach Edward Mouton Sr said. “Once he got it going, people started converging on him and he set his teammates up. When he’s got it going
like that he’s very hard to stop because he can go inside or out, so you have to pick your poison. The basket was like ocean, everything that he put up seemed like it was going in the bucket. The kid puts a lot of work in the gym and when you put that amount of work in you hope and pray for positive results and tonight was a casing point.”
Westlake led 13-12 after one quarter. In the second, Sim- mons started to get in his zone, exploding for 20 points in the period alone to give the Wolver- ines a 37-27 halftime lead.
Simmons, who has carried the scoring load all season for the Wolverines to go with his leader- ship in the backcourt, is averag- ing 22.1 points per game contest. He also had a 39-point perfor- mance in an 81-66 road win over St. Charles on Jan. 20, which like Wednesday stands as his highest point total of the season.
“It didn’t matter what defense they were. The rim was definitely like an ocean tonight and I knew whatever shot I found I was going to take it,” said Simmons, who shot 12 of 18 from the field, nailing eight threes on the night and was 7 of 10 from the free-throw line. “My team- mates were able to get me open shots, too.”
The Wolverines were also with starting senior guard Ever- ette Mouton, who was deemed academically ineligible for the remainder of the season.
“We are missing a couple play- ers, but we just have to play no matter who we have,” Simmons said. “It will be a difference, we just have to continue to stay together.”
Westlake took a 40-27 lead to open the third quarter, but Lackey got to within 48-40, but did not come any closer as it still trailed 51-42 entering the fourth.
The Wolverines pushed their lead back to double digits to close out the game.
Senior forward Amir Law- rence finished with 17 points to go with 10 rebounds to help anchor the scoring on the inside for the Wolverines.
Lackey had just one player in double figures for the game as senior guard Hakeem Everett finished with 12 points. Rasheed Cooley scored nine points off the bench, while seniors Vincent Parker, James Wilkerson and Destin Ingram added seven.
“We tried to make it difficult for him and besides two or three shots we did, but he just made great shots, and great players make great plays and he did that tonight,” said Lackey head coach Sean Fox of Simmons. “We just have to change our shot selection and we should be all right for Friday.”
Lackey is scheduled to travel to St. Charles for a division contest at 6:30 p.m. Friday.
Westlake senior guard Jeff Simmons goes up for two of his game-high 39 points in a 6751 victory over host Lackey in a SMAC Potomac Division boys basketball contest in Indian Head on Wednesday night.
Westlake senior forward Amir Lawrence goes up for two of his 17 points in a 6751 victory over host Lackey in a SMAC Potomac Division boys basketball contest in Indian Head on Wednesday night.