Jim­mie locked in

Wash­ing­ton Jr. de­liv­ers in sec­ond half as West Side stops Michi­gan City

Post Tribune (Sunday) - - Sports - By Mike Hut­ton Post-Tri­bune

West Side se­nior Jim­mie Wash­ing­ton Jr. knew what to do in the sec­ond half Fri­day night.

The 6-foot-7 for­ward strug­gled with foul trou­ble in the first half.

That turned out to be a mo­ti­vat­ing fac­tor for Wash­ing­ton in the Cougars’ 64-58 vic­tory over Michi­gan City.

He fin­ished with 13 points for West Side (3-0). The dag­gers were con­sec­u­tive 3-point­ers Wash­ing­ton made to start the sec­ond half.

The sec­ond one with 7:15 left in the third quar­ter gave the Cougars a 38-23 lead and forced Michi­gan City (2-1) to call a time­out.

West Side rode that lead to the win, even though the Wolves forced a tie in the fourth quar­ter. West Side ended the first half with a 3-pointer by Mykel Reynolds.

Reynolds’ 3-pointer and Wash­ing­ton’s two 3-point­ers turned into a 9-0 run.

Wash­ing­ton felt like he was out of it early when se­nior for­ward Rayshon Howard, who’s also 6-7, forced him to the bench in the first quar­ter with two quick fouls. Howard is a load in­side for Michi­gan City.

“I think I got caught up in the mo­ment,” Wash­ing­ton said. “I knew (Howard) was go­ing to try to hook me. I came back in the sec­ond half men­tally locked in.”

Wash­ing­ton scored 12 points in the third quar­ter, and the Cougars used a va­ri­ety of play­ers to get the win.

Quimari Peter­son led with 15 points and Paris Rober­son added 11. Howard led Michi­gan City

with 19 points and Dez’Mand Hawkins had 11.

West Side coach Chris Buggs said the strength of his team is its bal­ance. Em­manuel Cal­houn, a 6-0 se­nior guard who started, fouled out.

Didn’t mat­ter.

There were plenty of play­ers to pick up the slack.

“Our team is built on num­bers,” Buggs said. “They all be­lieve in each other. You can’t just fo­cus on one kid. They work re­ally well to­gether.”

Wash­ing­ton is con­fi­dent this team is go­ing to be good. He said that even know­ing his younger brother Jalen, a 6-7 fresh­man, is out un­til Jan­uary with a shoul­der in­jury.

Wash­ing­ton said Jalen is spe­cial. He played in the Cougars’ first game against Mar­quette on Nov. 24, when he suf­fered the in­jury.

There’s al­ways in­ten­sity when West Side and Michi­gan City play. Michi­gan City coach John Boyd coached West Side to a state ti­tle in 2002.

“It was good to beat our old coach in a hos­tile en­vi­ron­ment,” Wash­ing­ton said. “We just have to pro­duce. Our mind­set is to get bet­ter so we can get to state.”

Boyd said his team, which started two fresh­men, still has plenty to learn.

Howard scored nine points in the first quar­ter, but he barely touched the ball in the third.

“We just dug a hole for our­selves,” Boyd said. “When that hap­pens, he (Howard) tries to do too much.”


Mykel Reynolds, mid­dle, cel­e­brates with his West Side team­mates af­ter he made a shot at the buzzer against Michi­gan City dur­ing a game on Fri­day.


West Side guard Em­manuel Cal­houn (10) eyes the bas­ket against Michi­gan City dur­ing a game on Fri­day.

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