90° F Wednesday, July 26, 2017

The Chaparrals charged back in the fourth quarter but in a season of ups-and-downs Westlake couldn’t quite get over the hump in a season-ending loss to visiting Akins Tuesday night.
Westlake trailed by just three at halftime but the Eagles exploded in the third and led by as many as 17 in a 65-54 win. The Chaps (15-16, 5-7) closed the gap to four late in the fourth quarter thanks to seniors Will Morse and Vincent DeBlasio, but Akins (23-9, 7-5) held on to secure the fourth and final playoff spot in District 15-5A.
“It’s been a hard one,” said Westlake boys basketball coach Tres Ellis of the injury-filled and close-contest filled season. “It’s been hard on the coaches, the team, trying to find a rhythm and playing to win. We had a lot of inconsistencies with injuries.”
Akins’ aggressive full-court defense kept the Chaps out of sorts offensively and all but shut down leading scorers Morse and Carlton.
Morse finished with 20 points on the night – 13 in the fourth quarter – while DeBlasio scored 17, with eight of those in the final frame. Chris Murch finished with six points, Jordan Severt had five, Jackson Carter score four and Ben Slaughter had two points.
The Chaps had 17 turnovers.
“They pressure defended us well,” Ellis said. “We prepared for that but we just didn’t execute. It flustered us a little bit, more than I expected it to … that was kind of the difference.”
Teddy Lowery led Akins with 25 points, with all but six of that coming after halftime. The speedy guard set the tone out of halftime with consecutive 3-pointers to push the lead to 28-19, and his layup plus free throw made it 43-28 with just over a minute left in the third.
The lead got to 50-33 in the fourth before Westlake went on a 7-0 run to make it a 10-point game on an offensive rebound and putback by DeBlasio. Morse drove the lane minutes later and fed DeBlasio in the short corner for a two-handed dunk that brought it within seven with 3:30 left to play. The roles reversed when DeBlasio tapped out a rebound to Morse for a 3-pointer, and Morse’s 3 25 seconds later made it 56-52 with 2:31 to go.
With the fouls piling up, Akins kept making just enough to keep the lead going and secure the win.
Westlake will graduate seniors Morse, DeBlasio, Carter, Murch and Travis Brown.
Meanwhile, the Chaps will return a good chunk of the roster with some new additions next season.
“That’s a real positive for us,” Ellis said. “Several juniors are football guys, we’ve gotta find our core guys, that’s the challenge now. The future’s definitely bright.”

Final District 15-5A Standings

Lake Travis 9-3

Anderson 9-3

Austin 7-5

Akins 7-5

Westlake 5-7

Del Valle 3-9

Bowie 2-10

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