The Register-Herald, Beckley, West Virginia

March 6, 2013

Westside headed to Charleston

Renegades beat PikeView in Region 3 co-final to punch ticket to Class AA tourney

By J. Daniel Rollins
Register-Herald Sports Writer

CLEAR FORK — Nick Cook has waited a long time for  what he experienced Wednesday night.

For the first time in his head coaching career, the Westside head coach cut down the nets as a regional champion.

Next stop? Charleston.

“It feels good,” an emotional Cook said after his team’s 76-47 win over PikeView in the Class AA Region 3 co-final. “I’ve been waiting for this for a while.”

It should feel good.

It wasn’t the prettiest victory the Renegades have had this season. The team shot poorly to open the game but broke free with a 20-point second quarter to secure the victory.

“We’re just going to get back into the gym tomorrow and work on what we need to do,” Cook said. “After tonight, that’s putting the ball in the basket and fundamentals. We were lacking in fundamentals tonight.”

The questions surrounding the injured ankle of junior guard Corey Bowles were seemingly answered as he led Westside in scoring with 20 points.

Bowles also surpassed 1,000 career points in the victory.

“It was a perfect night for me,” Bowles said after the game, while grasping a piece of the net and the game ball. “I couldn’t do it without my teammates and coaches.”

“Corey’s special,” Cook said. “It just shows what hard work and dedication will do for you.

“He’s a kid who stays in the gym

 “He’s a kid who stays in the gym and works hard. On top of anything else, Corey’s just an awesome kid.”

The emotional Cook sang the praises of the rest of his team, as well. It’s a team that seemingly grew as the season progressed; overcoming the  adversity of losing a key player early in the year and overcoming difficult losses.

“I’ve got 13 wonderful kids. I love them to death. I can’t say enough good things about them,” Cook said.

It was a tough night for the 6-17 PikeView Panthers, who despite the scoring efforts of Bradley Flinchum, were unable to knock a dent in the armor of the No. 4 team in Class AA.

“My hat’s  off to them,” Cook said. “They played us tough. Our defense stayed on them tonight.”

Also staying on the Panthers case was the 250-student deep “Renegade Rowdies,” who provided an atmosphere that would have made victory difficult for any opponent.

“This student section is wonderful, as always,” Cook said. “I think that really helped us tonight. It kept our energy level up. They stayed loud and helped our defense stay on top.”

“Our  fans step up when it’s clutch time,” Westside’s Levi Lambert said.  “Nobody knows what it means to us. They stepped up and helped us get the job done tonight.”

Now it’s on to Charleston for the Renegades, where Cook hopea his experience winning a championship as a player 19 years ago will inspire his team to victory.

“It’s what we’ve been working on all year,” Justin Cogar said. “We finally got there.”

“I’ve  worked  four years to get here,” an emotional senior Jason Scarlett said. “We’re going to states and prove what we can do.”

“We’re going to Charleston and take it all the way home for our fans,” Renegade Justin Kenneda said.

— E-mail: jrollins  and  follow on Twitter @JDanielRollins.

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PikeView  (6-17)

Austin Hazelwood  0 0-0 0, Seth Wood 1 0-0 2, Bradley Flinchum 8 0-2 16, Justin  Dickinson 0 0-0 0, Austin Cordell 1 3-7 6, Jonathan Burrell 3 1-2  10, Jason  Weitzel 1 0-1 2, Tyler Robinson 0 0-0 0, Tanner Farley 1 0-0 3,  Logan McKinney  3 2-2 8. Totals 18 6-14 47.

Westside  (19-6)

Larry  Cook 0  1-2 1, Will Fox 1 2-2 4, Jordan Browning 0 0-2 0, Corey Bowles 7  4-6 20, Hunter  Walker 0 0-0 0, 1 0-0 2, Bryce Robinson 0 0-0 0, Justin Kenneda 3  2-2 9, Levi  Lambert 6 2-6 16, Jason Scarlett 3 1-2 7, Corey West 0 0-1 0, Matt  Harless 1  0-0 2, Justin Cogar 7 1-4 15. Totals 29 13-27 76.


P    10    10    9    18    —    47

W    16    20    26    14    —    76


3-Pointers — P 5: (Burrell 3, Farley, Cordell) W: 5 (Bowles 2, Lambert 2,  Kenneda); Fouled  out – None.