By Jeff Rancudo
TUNNEL HILL —
Seeing young basketball players develop before your eyes into well-rounded leaders makes a coach feel good.
No wonder Northwest Whitfield High School coach Greg Brown was happy after his Lady Bruins used an infusion of youthful scoring en route to a 69-27 pummeling of LaFayette Saturday night in the Sub-region 7B-4A opener for both schools.
During a 22-3 first-half scoring outburst by Northwest, freshman Bria Clemmons scored all seven of her points, while senior Macy Weeks tossed in 11 of her 13 points and senior Halle Ford scored four to propel the Lady Bruins (11-3) a 32-10 halftime edge and the chance to put the game on cruise control. But that’s far from Brown’s style, remarking that “we play to our own standard.” Only discipline, crisp passing, hustle and precision execution followed as the Lady Bruins saw 11 players hit the scoring column. Like Clemmons, 6-foot sophomore Peyton Maret showed her own youthful progress by grabbing 10 rebounds for Northwest.
Brown was excited to see numerous players contribute. Clemmons is a freshman with the talent to make real varsity contributions.
“She’s going to special for us,” Brown added.
Maret, meanwhile, has improved greatly, Brown said, with a strong worth ethic and aggressiveness and should only get better with more strength training.
Kerrigan King pushed Northwest to a 7-3 lead early with a three-pointer and a layup as the Lady Bruins never trailed after being down 3-0.
Using a smothering defense in the first half, Northwest limited the Lady Ramblers (6-8) to 4 of 22 field goal shooting in the first two periods. Ford nailed three second-half three-pointers for Northwest as the Lady Bruins led 49-20 after three periods.
Tava Young led the Lady Ramblers with 11 points.
• Northwest Whitfield 70, LaFayette 41: Northwest Whitfield fell behind 4-2 early but exploded for a 26-4 run and never looked back.
During Northwest’s first-half scoring spree, Levi Mosteller nailed a pair of three-pointers and a layup while Landon Cable sank a pair of treys and Walker Maret hit a three and a jump shot. In addition to scoring early and often, Northwest (7-4) grabbed 40 rebounds and Cyrus Addision scored 13 points and was the major force cleaning the glass.
For the game, Mosteller, a sophomore, led the Bruins with 16 points as he added two 3-pointers in the second half. Caleb Branson tossed in 10 points and precision ball handling throughout the game.
Bruins coach Ryan Richards praised his team’s rebounding efforts, adding that “when your 5-foot-8 point guard (Tevin McDaniel) is skying for rebounds, that’s a pretty good thing.”
“Levi played pretty well,” Richards added. “Since we started practice in September, he’s really developed and we’re slowly bringing him along. Cyrus was a beast on the boards, he finished shots and he’s got a great attitude. I’d say the key word tonight was unselfish. This was a big step in the right direction as far as us playing the way we need to down the stretch.”
LaFayette’s Lance Estus poured in 19 points but Northwest’s kept all other Ramblers (7-5) out of double-figure scoring.