CLEAR FORK —
Basketball is a tradition in Wyoming County.
Beating Westside has become a tradition for Wyoming East.
The Warriors continued their five-year winning streak against their county rivals Friday night by defeating the Renegades 67-57. Wyoming East advanced to 6-1 on the season, while Westside fell to 5-4.
Wyoming East coach Rory Chapman preaches two things: Intensity and defense. Against Westside, his players showed why.
After Westside came out to an electric atmosphere and a 23-15 lead in the first quarter, Chapman knew adjustments were necessary.
“They came out to a hot start and were playing with a lot of emotion. (Westside coach) Nick (Cook) does a great job with them,” Chapman said.
It was the adjustments made at the end of the first quarter that Wyoming East point guard Austin Canada said made the difference. Canada led Wyoming East with 18 points, including 3 3-pointers.
“We thought we were fired up, but they were more fired up,” Canada said. “But it all started on defense for us.”
Chapman’s adjustments worked, as the Warrior defense held Westside to just four points in the second quarter and went into the half trailing by just one point, 27-26.
A Brett Bowling layup midway through the third quarter gave East a 28-27 lead.
Westside wasn’t going to go down without a fight, as Levi Lambert put his team ahead by one following a layup and a foul shot.
However, it was the leadership and direction of Canada that brought East back into the game. A clutch 3-pointer helped East reclaim the lead and seal another victory for the surging Wyoming East boys.
“Coming into the season, experience was a word that was thrown around,” Chapman said of his team. “They were saying we didn’t have much experience. Well, I’ll tell ya, after the last few games, we’ve got guys who are getting that experience.”
Canada’s move from the two guard to the point in the offseason was a move with a lot of growing pains for the junior.
“I’ve had three guards do it,” Chapman said of the move. “All three of them have been successful doing it. Austin’s one of those.”
“I had a hard time adjusting to it,” Canada said. “When we played Woodrow, I didn’t have a good game, but I feel like I’ve gotten better since then.”
Westside coach Nick Cook was able to see a light shining through the clouds in the defeat.
“I thought we came out well, but foul trouble really did us in,” Cook said.
The Renegades were already down to an inexperienced lineup as they were missing a player due to disciplinary action. Then, late in the fourth quarter, they lost their two leading scorers in Corey Bowles and Justin Cogar to fouls.
“They had a hard time stopping our press early on,” Cook said. “I’m not saying they wouldn’t have got back into the game without our foul troubles, but we would’ve made it a lot harder on them.”
Wyoming East will likely see itself near the top of the Class AA poll when it is released, but Chapman isn’t concerning himself with that.
“We know that it really doesn’t matter as far as the polls go,” he said. “We care about the end of the season and being primed and ready to go at tournament time. We probably won’t even look at the polls much.”
East moved atop the sectional standings with the victory.
“This section is tough with Westside,” Chapman said. “You’ve also got Summers County with a lot of new players. Liberty and Levi Cook will prove a tough challenge. We played at Independence and they’ve got some good players.”
Wyoming East will play one of those sectional rivals Tuesday night as it welcomes in the Summers County Bobcats. Westside will play Man in Clear Fork.
— E-mail: jrollins
Wyoming East (6-1)
Austin Canada 8 1-2 18, Cody Lester 2 5-6 9, Josh Tunstalle 3 3-4 10, Christian Hedinger 3 2-2 8, Brett Bowling 5 3-5 15, Kyle Sandy 0 0-0 0, Tyler Lester 1 0-0 2, John Morgan 1 0-0 3, Joseph Cornett 1 0-0 2. Totals: 24 14-19 67.
Jordan Browning 1 0-0 2, Corey Bowles 8 1-2 19, Levi Lambert 4 7-9 14, Jason Scarlett 1 0-0 2, Justin Cogar 4 6-12 16, Hunter Walker 1 1-2 4, Matt Harless 0 0-0 0. Totals: 19 15-25 57.
WE 15 11 17 24 — 67
W 23 4 10 20 — 57
3-pointers: WE: 8 (Canada 3, Tunstalle, Hedinger, Bowling 2, Morgan). Fouled out: WE: Hedinger, W: Bowles, Scarlett.
Wyoming East wins at Westside 67-57 to keep bragging rights
CLEAR FORK —
Basketball is a tradition in Wyoming County.
- Latest Sports
Westside wins a classic
Many words will be used to describe Friday night’s battle for the Class AA Region 3, Section 1 championship between No. 4 Wyoming East and No. 6 Westside, but one that will be used the most is simple — classic.
Lady Spartans punch their ticket to state tournament
For 21 minutes Friday night, Greenbrier East relived last year’s nightmare, which saw the undefeated Lady Spartans, ranked No. 1 in Class AAA, fall short of the state tournament with a shocking loss to a Capital squad that was below .500 in the Region 3 co-final.
Fast start propels Valley past Wildcats
One day can sometimes make a lot of difference. A whole lot.
Annual Biddy-Buddy tournament gives the chance to grow as players and friends
As good as they are, Tamar Slay and O.J. Mayo didn’t just pick up a basketball and get drafted into the NBA.
WVU finishes season today at home vs. Kansas
The NCAA Tournament bubble seems to have popped on West Virginia’s men’s basketball team thanks to a string of five losses in seven games — including a 72-62 defeat Wednesday at Oklahoma.
Mountaineer women open Big 12 Tournament play today
The No. 7 West Virginia women’s basketball team enters the 2014 Phillips 66 Big 12 Women’s Basketball Championship quarterfinal round as the No. 2 seed, and will take on either No. 7 seed TCU or No. 10 Texas Tech at 7 p.m. Eastern today.
One step from state tourney
Home, sweet, home.
The ball seemed to bounce Woodrow Wilson’s way as the Flying Eagles turned back visiting Greenbrier East 63-46 in the Class AAA Region 3, Section 2 final at the Beckley-Raleigh County Convention Center.
Lester powers No. 2 Renegades past PikeView
Westside head coach Jamie Lusk feels that what separates an athlete from a champion is the will to win, pouring yourself out and leaving your heart on the court in the pursuit of victory.
Lady Bobcats headed back to Charleston
It was the new kids on the block against the old guard. The Bluefield Lady Beavers were looking to make their first appearance in the state tournament while the Summers County Lady Bobcats, winners of seven state titles, were looking to go back to Charleston for the first time in three years.
Lusk, WVU Tech start title defense today
Cheyanna Lusk has seen improvement in her basketball game this year.
- More Latest Sports Headlines
- Westside wins a classic