It all came down to execution.
Westside took charge with four three-pointers in the third period and went on to knock off AA No. 4 Wyoming East, 62-60, in the Region 3, Section 1 championship game at the Beckley Raleigh County Convention Center on Saturday night.
“We didn’t do anything different from what we normally do,” said Renegades coach Nick Cook. “We just executed better. We were making the extra pass and hitting the open man.”
After a tight first half which ended with the Warriors leading by one, Westside began to surge in the third quarter.
Down 34-31, the Renegades scored seven straight points to go ahead for good.
Tre Colucci had a lay up, and Shane Jenkins drained a three. Cory Hatfield’s follow shot made it 38-34.
“Shane and Larry led us, but everybody who played came in and contributed,” Cook remarked.
WHS got two threes in the final seconds of the quarter to push the lead to eight.
Isaiah Lester connected from the left corner.
East’s David Carte scored on a lay up with 15 seconds left to cut it to five, but there was still time for Larry Cook to ring up a trey with less than a second remaining.
Westside took its biggest lead, 51-42, on Lester’s three from the right wing early in the final quarter.
“We didn’t play like a seasoned, senior team,” commented East coach Rory Chapman. “Credit to Westside for making their shots, but a lot of those threes were uncontested.”
The Warriors (18-4) gradually climbed back and got within 57-55 when Carte, who had a game-high 24 points, made an eight-footer from the lane with 2:07 left.
They had opportunities to tie or take the lead but couldn’t convert them.
“We made some mistakes at the end and we will learn from that,” stated Cook.
Travis Cook’s free throws with 1:02 to go pushed the lead back to four.
Carte scored inside to make it 59-57.
Free throws gave Westside a 62-57 margin with 29.3 seconds to go.
A Logan Blankenship three from the top of the key cut it ot 62-60 with 24 seconds left.
East got two more chances, including a long three-point try at the buzzer, but they were off target.
The Warriors led for most of the first quarter and had their biggest lead at 14-6.
Threes from Jenkins and Larry Cook put WHS on top, 17-15, early in the second.
It was close for the rest of the half, which ended with East holding a 29-28 edge.
The win puts Westside (15-9) at home for the regionals against Bluefield.
Jenkins scored 17 for WHS, and Larry Cook had 15. Hatfield notched 10.
Carte and Blankenship (15) paced the Warriors.
Game notes: The all-time series is now tied at 20-20 … Westside has won four sectional championships in a row.
John Conley can be reached at 304-732-6060 or on Twitter @PIHnews.