The score of the Westlake boys’ 109-91 win over Douglas County Friday night doesn’t indicate much slowing down, but Westlake coach Darron Rogers said dialing back the pace in key spots made a big difference for his club, which avenged its only loss in Region 3-AAAAAA.
Douglas County took a 96-91 win over Westlake on Jan. 8, when the Lions were without two starters.
“I thought we played smarter. We slowed it down when we needed to,” said Rogers. “You have to get used to running like that. Those guys shoot the ball almost every 10 seconds. Your team, if they’re not used to running like that, you kind of have to gauge them a little bit. Put them in zones and spread the floor a little bit at the end of the quarter.”
Having his full compliment of players didn’t hurt. Senior point guard Tony Bagtas scored 29 points and Andre Elam added 20. Raymond Saunders, who missed the first game, scored 13 and Kejuan Johnson, who also missed the first meeting, scored 17.
Bagtas set the tone with a 3-pointer in the first 10 seconds of the game, and he was able to drive to the basket at will, scoring all of his points from the floor.
Bagtas said the earlier game, in which Westlake squandered a big lead, fueled the Lions Friday night.
“We were embarrassed,” he said. “We felt that they felt they were better than us. We knew we were better. We had something to prove this game”
Westlake (16-4, 4-1 Region 3-AAAAAA) took control midway through the first quarter, holding Douglas County (11-10, 3-3) without a field goal for nearly 3 ½ minutes and reeling off a 9-2 run during that stretch for a 16-11 lead.
After a 3-pointer by the Tigers’ Justin Bridges cut the lead to two, Westlake pushed out to an 28-18 lead , and a 15-2 run sparked by Bagtas and Saunders padded the margin to 21 points.
Douglas County pulled within 14 twice late in the first half, but never got closer than 16 in the second half, during which Westlake led by as many as 30.
Bridges, who came in scoring 19.7 points per game, scored 24 for Douglas County. K’Ja Johnson and Corey Tillery added 17 each.