The Register-Herald, Beckley, West Virginia

High School Sports

February 3, 2013

Renegades overpower St. Albans 52-27

BECKLEY — Jamie Lusk knew his Westside girls basketball team would bounce back strong from its first loss since 2011.

The Renegades proved him correct, jumping out to an 8-0 lead and then rolling to a 52-27 decision over St. Albans in a consolation game of the Big Atlantic Classic Saturday at the Beckley-Raleigh County Convention Center.

Westside (15-1) had dropped a 57-46 decision in an opening-round game Thursday to Class AAA power University — its first loss since 2011.

“We have a lot of experienced players,” Lusk said. “They’ve lost games in the past before, and they know they had to come back and play harder.”

 The Renegades quickly fell behind the Eagles in that game, so Lusk had made it a point to start strong.

“That was our goal,” he said. “We got off to a terrible start Thursday. We were behind 8-0 early.”

“Today we kept playing good defense, and we made the plays we had to make to win the game.”

Class AA defending state champion Westside led 11-5 by the first quarter’s end and 21-10 at halftime.

All-state center and player of the year candidate Hope Lester played little in the first half because of foul trouble, but finished with 12 points, eight rebounds, four assists and four steals.

Guard-forward Danielle Brown stepped up outside, nailing four 3-point shots and scoring 14 points. She also had seven rebounds.

Megan Endicott had eight rebounds, and Morgan Spolarich had three assists and two blocked shots.

St. Albans (8-9) received 10 points and nine rebounds from Breanna Propst.

Lusk said he had little regret in playing University, despite the loss.

“We needed some competition — someone to challenge us both inside and at the guard position,” he said. “University had both. Sometimes there are good losses.”

 Westside returns to action Monday at Logan. The Renegades won by 18 in a previous game at Clear Fork.

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