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No team was more eager to play a game on Monday than Westinghouse. The Warriors were still smarting over a one-sided loss of nearly 50 points to top-ranked Young.
“We needed to get back into a game, hit refresh, start another week, and get our confidence back,” Westinghouse senior forward Dewan White said.
The Warriors found the right opponent when a scheduling shift switched their opponent from No. 6 Orr to a talented Crane team playing without its top player, star sophomore guard Issaiah Hayes, one of the city’s top scorers.
White scored a game-high 17 points and grabbed 11 rebounds as the host Warriors ripped off a 14-4 start in the opening three minutes and glided past the Cougars 61-48 Monday afternoon.
White scored 11 of his points in the first half that propelled the Warriors (8-1, 2-1 Red-West) to a 34-20 lead at the break. “After the Young game, we just wanted another game,” White said. “Our coach [Garland Williams] said, ‘That was Friday, and this is a new day,’ and that’s the attitude we took.
“All of my points came through the offense, I didn’t have to go out our system to score,” White said. “We hit some three-pointers and that opened the lanes for me to get to the basket.”
Both teams were without key players. Hayes was out for the Cougars and the Warriors played without their biggest starter 6-5 senior Darrell Gant, who is expected to miss about a week after suffering a shoulder injury in the Young game.
Hayes starred in the Cougars’ 93-92 four overtime thriller over Marshall on Friday. “We probably could have played him today, but I didn’t want to risk him having a more serious injury,” Crane coach Kenny Pratt said. “We definitely could have used him today.”
Senior guard Ricky Battles also excelled for the Warriors, recording 12 points and adding five assists and three steals as the Warriors led by as many as 21 points in the second half. Senior forward Chacuntay Jones added nine points, and junior forward Marlik Willliams, senior foward Ramon Taylor and junior guard Terrence Jones added seven points apiece.
Senior forward Courtney Thomas scored 16 points and added 12 rebounds and three blocked shots for the Cougars (2-3, 2-1). Timothy Triplett scored all 14 of his points in the second half, including 12 in the fourth quarter.