Wildcats defeat Camels in season openers
Erik Spencer Hill
West Stokes varsity basketball teams took home wins against Atkins on Nov. 20. The Lady Wildcats faced off against the Camels in an away game and narrowly came away with a 48-43 victory. The Wildcats’ varsity boys team followed up with a 86-41 win of their own.
Lady Wildcats Head Coach James Holleman said the team started out pretty good, but the Camels came back in the fourth quarter and almost grabbed the win. “We could have folded, but we didn’t,” he said. “We hung in there.”
Boys Head Coach Dan Spainhour said that he was happy with the win, but his team needs to continue to improve this season in order to face the tougher competition that lies ahead.
West Stokes came out strong in the first quarter last week. The Lady Wildcats posted up 11 points by the end of the first.
Holleman said that the Lady Wildcats started out pretty good, but overall they did not play as well as expected. The score was far too close for comfort throughout most of the game.
In the second quarter, the Lady Wildcats only managed to hit a few shots, while the Camels put on the pressure and got 18 points. At the half, the Camels briefly jumped ahead 23-20.
Despite being down after the first half, the Lady Wildcats began to settle down in the second half and hit some shots. With some good defense and free throws, West Stokes regained their lead over the camels.
In the third and fourth quarters, Holleman said the Lady Wildcats “shot the ball pretty good.” West Stokes grabbed an extra 14 points in both quarters and narrowly came out on top with a final score of 48-43.
Holleman said that the team is really going to have to cut down on turnovers if the Wildcats are going to continue to be successful this season — they need to “step up,” he said. “We had way too many turnovers,” he noted.
Ahead of West Stokes’ first conference game on Dec. 4, Holleman said that he will be working with the team in practice to limit turnovers in games.
Coach Spainhour said that the Wildcats had a great start to their game against the Camels. The Wildcats moved the ball around and had 32 assists through the evening, which was evidence of the team’s smart passing.
“We weren’t selfish with the ball,” Spainhour said.
The Wildcats were hot in the first quarter and posted up 23 points. West Stokes continued their rise against Atkins in the second half with nearly 20 extra points. By halftime, the Wildcats had a more than 20 point lead over the Camels. The score was 42-20.
In the third quarter, the Wildcats racked up another 25 points and their lead grew. The Wildcats’ defense continued to limit the goals of the Camels, who only managed to score 11 points in the third.
The Camels didn’t fare much better in the fourth quarter, either. They only posted 10 points, while the Wildcats went on to score nearly 20 more points before the game was over. The game ended with a 86-41 win for West Stokes.
“We would love to get 86 points every night, but realistically we know that’s not going to happen,” Spainhour said.
West Stokes played very well defensively and only gave up four offensive rebounds in the game.
“We need to realize this is just one game and continue to improve,” he said. “We will definitely see much stronger teams this year.”
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