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A banking, buzzer-beating 3-pointer by Patrick Elliott pushed the Westlake boys basketball team past visiting Bowie 55-52 Jan. 15.
Elliott was rotating in and out down the stretch as the Chaparrals used him on the defensive end during the fourth quarter.
With the game tied 52-52, Westlake got the ball back with about 15 seconds left to play but rather than elect to call a timeout, coach Tres Ellis wanted to push the ball to try and get a good look for Will Morse, who scored a game-high 20 points.
Morse was covered heavily though, and the senior guard passed off to Elliott on the right wing, but just as Elliott seemed to have a clean look at a shot a Bowie defender nearly got to the ball and obstructed his view.
The shot banked off the glass and the buzzer went off with Westlake celebrating its second straight district win.
“I almost didn’t even see the rim — I just shot it and did not think it was going in,” Elliott said. “It hit the backboard and swished in. From there it kind of wasn’t happening at the time, it was crazy. We were confident, we’ve been here before; I guess my time came and I took advantage of it.”
While Elliott didn’t think his shot was going through, both Ellis and Morse said they had no doubt.
“I just had a feeling, I just knew it was going in,” Ellis said. “It was just one of those things when it went up, I knew it was going in. And he deserved it. He’s been busting his tail on defense.”
When the double team came at Morse, he knew to look for Elliott.
“I was looking for my shot coming off the right and when it wasn’t there I was looking for Patrick coming off a screen,” Morse said. “And he hit a crazy shot. It was a great play by him. We were lucky to win the game. I was right on line with it so it looked like he was going to bank it from the beginning; it was a crazy shot.”
The Chaps trailed 12-6 after the first quarter but pulled even at 19-19 on a Chris Murch 3-pointer with about 2:40 left in the second frame.
From there, neither team had a lead of bigger than five, with Westlake going ahead 44-39 on two free throws by Morse early in the fourth quarter.
Then, Bowie (13-11, 0-5) responded with eight straight points, taking a 47-44 lead with a little more than two minutes left in the game. Two freebies by Jordan Severt made it a one-point game again, but Bowie’s Jake Walton made two on the other end.
Westlake got its next two on free throws as well, with Morse sinking both, and Dallen Nelson calmly made two 16 seconds later and it was 51-49 Westlake.
Blake McMaude, who along with Walton led Bowie with 13 points each, buried a 3 from the left wing with about 40 seconds left to put the Bulldogs up one.
Off of a miss, Severt grabbed the offensive rebound for the Chaps and was fouled going back up.
After missing the front end, Severt sank the second one to tie it at 52-52.
Bowie botched its next possession, setting up the winning play for Westlake.
Murch had nine points off the bench for the Chaps, Severt scored nine as well, Chase Carlton had eight points and Nelson scored seven.
“For me, the guys just deserved a break,” Ellis said. “They’ve been working really hard and grinding and struggling and really trying to stick together, and working hard to do that, so I’m proud they’re seeing some success and rewards.”
Westlake will look for its third consecutive district win at Akins 8 p.m. Friday.
“(The district season) did start off kind of rough but we’ve pulled out a couple of close ones and it’s been great,” Morse said.
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