The Register-Herald, Beckley, West Virginia

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January 11, 2013

Westside wins Wyoming County girls battle

NEW RICHMOND — When something’s working well, why change it?

That’s the philosophy for Westside coach Jamie Lusk. His Class AA No. 1 ranked Lady Renegades improved to 10-0 on the season with a convincing 94-31 victory over county rival Wyoming East (6-6).

“Tonight was a total team effort,” Lusk said. “We ran the floor well. We were very active and made deflections and got steals. We did a good job running the floor. They’re so unselfish.”

The Renegades had four players in double digits, including phenom Hope Lester, who led Westside with 22 points. She also had eight rebounds and two blocks.

“I’m very happy with the progress the girls are making,” Lusk said. “Some girls have stepped into new roles this season and are all stepping in and having good games.”

Two of the girls stepping into new roles are guards Faith Davis and Danielle Brown. Davis had 18 points and Brown had 17.

“Both of the girls are good players,” Lusk said. “They’ve been waiting their turn to play. They sat behind Tori (Patrick) and Cheyanna (Lusk) last season and are excited to be the ones to make plays and step up for us.

“It’s a blessing to coach these girls. As a coach those are the type of players you want on your team. That makes us so much stronger.”

Westside, as it has done much of the season, jumped out to a hot 27-6 lead in the first quarter and never looked back.

“This is the best I’ve ever seen Westside shoot against us,” Wyoming East coach Angie Boninsegna said. “Whenever you focus on one player, another steps up and hits a shot.”

The Lady Renegades sank 11 3-pointers.

“They came out shooting well; our defense wasn’t bad at times, ya know,” Boninsegna said. Our press, we did well, they’re a hard team to defend against. They have five people who can shoot 3-pointers and they shot well.”

To Boninsegna’s credit, the Lady Warriors never gave up when facing an uphill battle. Wyoming East managed to cut into Westside’s lead 31-16 at one point, but the Lady Renegades did we they do best — score.

“They just took off,” she said. We faught back and made it respectable, but they’re relentless. It’s what makes them such a good team.”

After going into the half with a 43-18 lead, the Lady Renegades battled back, going on a 31-0 run in the third quarter to seal the victory in their favor.

“We just had to try to stay in the floy of the game,” Lusk said. “We had to work on our bench. A strong team has a strong bench.”

Lusk feels that building a strong bench will be key to his team’s success as the season progresses. They’re entering a tough stretch that will see his squad take on several challenges, including Sumemrs County, Scott and the No. 2 Class AAA team University.

“A lot of times those games are so aggressive, we get in foul trouble and these girls step up and play good strong defense and rebound for us,” Lusk said.

Westside extended its unbeaten streak to 38 games with the victory and will next play a team who knows a thing or two about streaks in Summers County.

“Summers is always a good team. Coach Ryan does an excellent job,” Lusk said. “It’s always a tough challenge for us.”

The battle between the Class AA powers will take place Monday at Westside with a 7 p.m. tip.

— E:mail: jrollins@register-herald.com and follow on twitter at @jdanielrollins.

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