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Westside boys get 2 big wins

Going into Friday night's game, 7th ranked Westside Christian High School was in a three-way tie with Sheridan and Amity for second place in the West Valley League. Sheridan was coming off a win Thursday night over 6th ranked Amity, and was anxious to secure second place. In their earlier meeting, the Sheridan Spartans had defeated Westside by 11 points.

In the first quarter the lead changed hands several times. One of Sheridan's point guards caused problems for the Eagles' defense, drawing several early fouls. Sheridan's success at the line pushed the Spartans to an early 17-15 lead.

At the start of the second quarter Westside Senior Joel Perri hit a three-pointer to begin Westside's momentum. Additionally, the Eagles' pressure defense began to take its toll forcing several Sheridan turnovers.

Junior forward, Dima Yovko, finished on four consecutive uncontested fast breaks to push the Eagles into the lead. Junior guard, Wade Moyer, had the hot hand in the quarter scoring 12 points, on his way to 21 for the game.

At the end of the second quarter, Westside outscored Sheridan 31-15 to take the halftime lead with a score of 46-32 and never looked back.

In the third quarter, Sheridan scored two quick buckets and cut the lead to ten, but Westside answered by hitting two of their own. Junior guard, Zach Renicker, who spent most of the first half on the bench in foul trouble, nailed a key three-pointer as the Eagles extended their halftime lead to 17, with a score of 63-46.

In the fourth, Sheridan applied intense defensive pressure in an attempt to get back in the game. They double-teamed key Westside players whenever possible.

The leadership and ball handling skills of Westside Senior guard Austin Prentice helped the Eagles weather the storm. Westside closed out the game at the free throw line preserving an 80-63 victory, placing them in the driver's seat for control of second place in the West Valley League.

Westside was led by Yovko with 29 points and seven rebounds, Moyer with 21 points, eight rebounds, and seven assists, and Perri with 10 points. Key players for Sheridan were Zach Poisal with 28 points and Niko Rentch with 14.

Westside finishes out the regular season with three tough games against Valley Catholic, Colton, and Dayton.

Friday was also Westside Senior recognition night. Westside honored the contributions of eight seniors: Austin Prentice, Joel Perri, Jordan Nelson, Michael Rose, Beau Brumley, Steven Tallman, team manager Eric Barton, and bookkeeper Mark Baretich.

Monday's match up pitted defending state champion Valley Catholic Valiants against Westside. Both teams had strong reasons to pull off a victory. Valley Catholic was fighting for the final league playoff spot, while Westside was fighting to maintain its grip on second place in the West Valley League.

The game was truly a clash of styles -- Valley Catholic's ball control versus Westside's up-tempo running game. It was apparent that whichever team could establish its style of play would control the game.

Westside took an early 7-0 lead and never gave it up. Valley Catholic closed the gap to 10-7 midway though the quarter, but Westside made one final push to end the quarter and command a 14 - 7 lead.

Westside was able to outscore Valley Catholic in each quarter to cruise to a 60-40 victory. Valley Catholic was forced to play from behind for the entire game, which prevented them from following their preferred style of play.

Westside was led by junior guard Moyer, who was held to 13 points but added 13 rebounds, nine of which came in the second half. The rest of Westside's scoring was very balanced, with six players scoring between five and eight points. Valley Catholic was led by point guard Michael Lyon, who finished with 14, while Jackson Gambee chipped in 12.