Westside surprises Wyoming East
Wyoming East (60) Vs. Westside (62)
Mar 05, 2016
for the Daily Telegraph
BECKLEY — It's a cliché that you "throw out the records" when rivals play at tournament time.
Yet time and again, basketball-crazy Wyoming County has proven it true.
Westside shocked Wyoming East 62-60 Saturday night for the Class AA Region 3, Section 1 championship before a mostly packed house at the Beckley-Raleigh County Convention Center. It was yet another in a long line of tournament upsets going back to the classic Class AA matchups of the 1960s and 70s, or the always contentious Class A battles of the 80s and early 90s.
Wyoming East (15-9), No. 4 in the final AP Poll, had beaten the 14th-ranked Renegades in both regular season meetings, 69-61 at home in New Richmond on Jan. 8, and 69-61 at Clear Fork on Feb. 5.
Lessons were learned. Westside coach Nick Cook made it clear what his team have to do to beat the Renegades.
"We have to hit some shots and rebound to have a chance," he said before the game.
The Renegades listened to Cook, who will retire at the season's end to spend more time with his family. This time they not only controlled the offensive boards, but they took better shots and hit more of them.
They drilled nine 3-pointers to seven for East. They also held their own on the boards, particularly on offense, for the first time against the Renegades.
"They crashed us on the boards. That's one thing we've prided ourselves on all year is being a great rebounding team," Warriors coach Rory Chapman said. "Tonight we weren't and they were. Hats off to them."
Senior wing Larry Cook, the Westside quarterback in football, keyed the victory with 15 points, including three 3s, and eight rebounds.
"The kids look to Larry. He's been an awesome leader for our school," Cook said. "I can't say enough good things about him."
The first half had been tight, with Wyoming East holding a 14-9 lead after one period and a 29-28 advantage at halftime behind 10 points from Logan Blankenship.
Westside roared into the lead in the third, outscoring East 20-11. Cook opened the scoring for the Renegades with a 3 and also ended it with a 3 when left wide-open on the right just before the buzzer.
But Wyoming East wasn't done. Big man David Carte scored nine of his game-high 24 points as the Warriors sliced the deficit to two, 59-57, with 47.8 seconds to play. Westside made several turnovers and Carte made them pay.
"They're a great team and they're not going to run away and hide because you have a 10-point lead," Cook said. "They did what every team Rory coaches will do. They came fighting back and we had to hang on."
Westside then returned the favor. Wyoming East hurried several shots down the stretch and made just one, a 3 by Blankenship. Westside rebounded and was fouled. Cook hit one of two free throws, Isaiah Lester nailed two and Jenkins hit another.
Blankenship's 3 came after Westside blew an inbounds play. The Warriors got the ball back, but elected to shoot long instead of working the ball inside. Lester rebounded and was fouled with five seconds remaining. He missed both free throws, but East was forced to take a long shot. Blankenship's arcing attempt from near halfcourt came close, but bounced off the backboard and into Westside's hands just before the buzzer.
"Down the stretch, and especially when it's one possession, you want to get a good look," Chapman said. "But three times in a row we took very questionable, quick shots. We just didn't do what we're supposed to.
"It's like we didn't come to play tonight and they did. Westside made shots when it counted and they did the little things."
Blankenship finished with 15 points while Carte had eight rebounds. Foldon scored seven points before fouling out in the fourth quarter.
The Warriors will play PikeView at Gardner Thursday night for a Region 3 co-championship.
"We have to refocus. We didn't have a good week of practice," Chapman said. "We have to realize we are still very much alive and we can still make noise in Charleston."
Jenkins was high-point man for Westside with 17 points. Corey Hatfield added 10.
"Our kids did a good job executing our game plan tonight," Cook said. "We wanted to keep it close, then we made that run in the third quarter.
"I could go down the line and say good things about each of them. It was as much a team effort as I've ever seen."
Westside will host Bluefield on Thursday for the other co-championship.

Brian Choate 0 0-0 0, Larry Cook 6 0-1 15, Isaiah Lester 2 2-4 8, Shane Jenkins 6 3-4 17, Elijah Puett 1 0-0 3, Tre Colucci 1 0-0 2, Brock Smith 0 2-2 2, Corey Hatfield 5 0-0 10, Travis Cook 1 2-2 5. Totals: 22 9-13 62.
Logan Mulllins 0 0-0 0, Johnathan Sims 2 0-0 6, R.J. Foldon 2 2-2 7, Alec Lusk 2 0-0 6, Logan Blankenship 4 5-6 15, Dylan Brehm 0 0-0 0, Cody Lester 0 2-2 2, David Carte 10 4-8 24. Totals 20 13-18 60
Westside.......9 19 20 14 — 62
Wyoming East......14 15 11 20 — 60
3-point goals: WS 9 (Cook 3, Lester 2, Jenkins 2, Puett, Cook), WE 7 (Sims 2, Foldon 1, Lusk 2, Blankenship 2). Fouled out: WE (Foldon).

Nightly Roundup
Game Scoreboard
Wyoming East 14 15 11 20 0 60
Westside 9 19 20 14 0 62
Home | Game Schedules | Archive Coverage
Player of the Week | Bounce Blog | Memorable Matchups
Copyright ©
All rights reserved. Do not duplicate or redistribute in any form.
Site Designed By: MotionLX, LLC