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WIldcats work overtime to get past Cougars


Westview blows two big leads but comes through in the clutch

by: MILES VANCE - UNSTOPPABLE - Westview sophomore Alex Carrick got this shot blocked, got his next shot blocked and missed yet another before finally rebounding the ball again and scoring against Canby in his team's overtime victory on Friday night at Westview High School.

ROCK CREEK — The Wildcats were just flat rolling.

The Westview boys basketball team, hosting Canby in a non-league contest on Friday night at Westview High School, had just fought off a spirited Cougar challenge in the third quarter, then put together a 13-0 run that seemingly gave them complete command of the game.

No one told Canby, though.

The Cougars battled back with a 20-5 run in the game’s final minutes, tied the contest at 56-56 on a buzzer-beating three-pointer, and sent it into overtime. But Westview wasn’t going to let this one get away — the Wildcats kept their cool in the extra period, moved ahead early in overtime then sealed their 65-63 win at the line.

“It was executing, getting stops on defense, rebounding and making shots,” explained Westview sophomore forward Alex Carrick, who finished with 14 points.

“We were playing good defense and then we got our stops,” said Wildcat senior guard Isaiah Denson, who led his team with 16 points. “That was the biggest part of it.”

Friday’s contest was a game of streaks, with Westview pulling away from Canby once in each half, and the Cougars reeling the Wildcats back in each time. In the first quarter, Westview led just 15-12 after Canby’s Coby Cates scored on a backdoor cut with 1 minute, 52 seconds left in the period.

From there, though, Westview took off. The Wildcats started a 13-2 streak that opened with back-to-back hoops by Dyrall Goods at the end of the first quarter to lead 19-12.

Then, at the start of the second stanza, the Cats got a Trent Glasgow jumpshot, five Denson points on a single possession (he hit a jumpshot and had a chance at a three-point play, missed the free throw, then took a Goods pass and hit a three-pointer), and then a putback from Mitch McConnell to make it 28-14 with 6:11 left in the half.

The next quarter and a half belonged to the Cougars, though. They got two baskets each from Sam Stelk and Trevor Sievers in the final 5:56 of the second quarter to edge within 35-26 at the half. Then, in the third quarter, Canby opened with a 10-2 run that cut Westview’s lead to 38-36, that stretch capped by consecutive Stelk buckets that made it a two-point game with 1:57 in the period.

The Wildcats hit the gas again after that, however, boosting their lead up to 51-36 with a 13-0 run over a span of 3:44 at the end of the third quarter and start of the fourth. Carrick was right in the middle of it all, taking a McConnell pass and turning into a reverse layin at the end of the third, then scoring inside again off a Goods pass at the start of the fourth.

Next, Carrick attacked inside again, and on one possession saw his shot blocked twice, missed a third try and scored on a fourth attempt. And finally, Carrick scored on the fast break, turned that hoop into a three-point play and capped his team’s run at 51-36 with 5:16 to go in the fourth quarter.

But that lead wouldn’t last either. The Cougars closed regulation on a 20-5 run over the last 4:35 of the fourth quarter, with Stelk and Cates doing most of the damage, Stelk with six points along the way and Cates with 11, including three three-pointers in the final 29 seconds, the killer a buzzer-beating bomb from two steps inside the halfcourt line that sent the game into OT at 56-56.

“I wasn’t too nervous until it got down to four or five,” Goods said. “We were up by (nine) and there was like 1:37 left, and I thought at that point we’d be able to handle it.”

In overtime, the Wildcats did, finally, “handle it.”

Carrick hit a hanging jumpshot in the lane to give Westview the lead for good at 60-58, and Julius Rucker scored inside after Goods broke a Canby trap to make it 62-58 with 1:11 remaining.

The Cougars snuck back within 62-61 on two foul shots by Sam Bodine and another from Stelk, but Westview closed out its win with free throws in the final 43 seconds by Carrick, Denson and Goods for the final 65-63 margin.

“They made some good shots and their big dude (Stelk) was getting some boards,” Carrick said. “But we should have slowed the clock down, made good passes and got better shots.”

“We were playing defense and getting stops, just clicking as a team,” Denson said. “Our defense leads to our offense and that’s what leads to our full potential.”

Ben Larson added 12 for Westview in the win, while Cates led all scorers with 24 and Stelk had 17. Westview turned the ball over just 10 times in the game, while Canby committed 14 turnovers.

Denson went 5-of-14 shooting from the field (with one three-pointer) and hit 5-of-6 free throws. Cates, meanwhile, went 8-of-21 from the floor (including four “threes”) and 4-for-4 at the line.

In upcoming games, Westview closes out non-league play with a 7:30 p.m. game on Friday at Grant High School. The Wildcats then kick off the 2013 Metro League boys basketball race with a game at Beaverton at 7:15 p.m. Tuesday.

To see a complete photo gallery from this game, please go to www.milesvance.exposuremanager.com.