54° F Sunday, April 23, 2017

Once again Westlake was locked in a tight game with the fourth quarter deciding a district win or loss.
Through three the game was either tied or within one to end each quarter, and though the final tally was close Anderson pulled away with minutes remaining to top the host Chaparrals 53-49 Friday night.
Neither team led by more than three throughout the third quarter, and after Westlake took a 32-31 lead seconds into the fourth quarter, Anderson went on a quick 7-0 run capped by an alley-oop from John Gramlich to Ras Bach that swayed thing the Trojans way.
“We had confidence because the last time we played them we were up the whole fourth quarter until the end,” said guard Chase Carlton of a 48-44 loss Jan. 8. “We gotta get better at finishing games.”
Will Morse nailed a 3-pointer moments after the alley-oop to bring it back within three, but that was the closest Westlake would get again as the Chaps strong suits earlier on – rebounding and defense – slipped just long enough.
“We forced a couple of shots that allowed for long rebounds and they got a couple quick ones,” Westlake coach Tres Ellis said. “It’s hard to say they played harder, but there were one or two where they wanted it more on the rebounds and offensively, we got a little quick with our shot instead of being patient like we had been.
“In a game like that one little run, one good spurt or bad spurt comes down to making a difference.”
Morse poured in three 3-pointers in the last 30-plus seconds alone to keep the game going, but his final trey of the night went through with less than five seconds left allowing Anderson to run out the clock. Morse had a game-high 24 points, Jackson Carter added 13 points and six rebounds and Carlton had 13 points for Westlake (14-14, 4-5).
“We don’t play fourth quarter situations well,” Carlton said. “We need to be more aware of the time and take care of possessions and be all on the same page.”
Westlake took a 10-8 lead after one quarter as Jordan Severt handed off to Morse and got in the way of a defender enough for a 3-pointer. Morse had two free throws and Carlton knocked down a floater to give the Chaps a 14-8 lead, but that was the best lead they could get.
The game was tied 16-16 at the break, but Anderson (25-5, 8-2) nearly doubled that in the third quarter with the game at 31-30 heading to the fourth.
“I felt like we were very prepared,” Ellis said. “We weren’t quite executing as well as we had in practice and we still held them to 16. I felt good coming out of the half.”
The Chaparrals play at Austin High 8 p.m. Tuesday, then have two games remaining in the regular season after that – at Bowie Feb. 8 and hosting Akins Feb. 12.
“All these next games are like playoff games – if we don’t win we don’t go to the playoffs,” Carlton said. “We’re easily talented enough to do that.”
Ellis agreed that the last spots in the District 15-5A race will come down to one team getting left out.
“Every games a playoff game for us now,” he said. “ I feel like it could come down to five teams and four spots.”

Comments

  1. keith says:

    Chase Carlton summed up this team’s problem as they have been in so many close games but seem to find a way to lose. If they would have won a few more of these distict nail biters, they would be leading district. Beat the Maroons or playoffs are unlikely to happen.

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