West Lee wins Lee/Harnett hoops title
The overwhelming theme for West Lee Middle School’s boys’ basketball team was, according to head coach Fred Garner, “offense wins games but defense wins championships.”
The Pride put its motto to good use in clinching the Lee/Harnett Athletic Conference championship and finishing an 11-1 season on Monday with a 62-15 win over Harnett Central.
The Pride played smothering defense to run out to a 16-2 lead after the first quarter and West Lee kept the intensity up from there.
Nick Grubb led the way scoring eight points in the first period and point guard Ce’Vaun Kinney led the defense getting six steals while dishing out six assists.
The second quarter opened with a flurry of steals and fast break points for the Pride. Demarcus Taylor scored six points and Jory Perkins scored five in the second period. Erik Hodge was an intimidating presence in the paint leading to numerous blocks and altered shots throughout the game.
The Pride kept a fresh squad on the floor the entire game which limited the Raiders to only one point in the second quarter. West Lee went to the locker room with a 35-3 lead.
West Lee’s starters entered the third quarter scoring a quick nine points and were congratulated with a standing ovation after two minutes. The squad of Noah Terhune, Caleb Thomas, Jake Thomas, Griffin Dunne and Will Scott finished the third quarter with the same focus on defense and the Pride led 49-9 at the end of the period.
In the fourth quarter, the seventh-grade team of Griffin Dunne, Talyke Minor, Hayden Cross, Hunter Johnson and Santavious Patterson played the final five minutes.
Taylor had 13 points and 10 rebounds for his eighth double-double of the season. Perkins scored 11 points. Grubb had 10 points and 10 rebounds.
Hodge had six points, 11 rebounds and five blocks. Dunne had four points, 10 rebounds and five blocks. Kinney finished with eight steals.
More Pride scorers were Jake Thomas and Patterson with five points each and Johnson, Minor, Scott and Terhune with two points each.
“With the championship on the line this was one of West Lee’s best and most consistent ballgames from the first minute to the last minute and was truly a team effort,” Garner said.