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Winning five straight games to open the season, the Westinghouse Warriors are keeping it simple each and every time they take the court.
“We’re playing together even though people are overlooking us,” Westinghouse guard Ricky Battles said. “We’re thinking ‘It’s us against the world,’ and that’s all we’ve got.”
The Warriors made it six straight wins, defeating DuSable 71-65 on Sunday at the Team Rose Shootout at the Kroc Corps Community Center.
Battles finished with 22 points for Westinghouse (6-0) with DeWan White (12 points, 11 rebounds), Darius Mason (11 points) and Darrell Grant (11 points) also contributing.
Holding a 35-33 halftime advantage, Westinghouse saw DuSable’s Chris Galbreath Jr. explode for 13 points in the third quarter. The senior forward scored on a variety of post moves, his basket off a loose ball putting the Panthers up 47-42.
Westinghouse tied things up at 50 on a Mason 3-pointer from the wing and went up on a Battles fast break layup late in the third quarter.
“We’re not trying to prove anyone wrong,” Battles said. “We’re just out there to play the game because it’s what we love to do.”
The fourth quarter featured three lead changes, with DeQuanis Jackson finally putting the Warriors up for good with back-to-back layups started by DuSable turnovers.
Jackson split two free throws while Mason hit both of his attempts at the charity stripe to help ice the game in the final 30 seconds.
“We had a couple bad practices this week,” Battles said. “But today we knew we had to come out and get the win. The coaches kept stressing defense, and we all know that playing defense can win ballgames.”
Galbreath led all scorers with 29 points and 13 rebounds for DuSable (1-2) with Isaac Buford scoring eight of his own. The Panthers finished 24-of-45 from the field but committed 18 total turnovers.