By MATTHEW STEVENS
COLUMBUS – In a win-or-go situation game, the East Webster High School boys basketball had a mighty task of covering Hamilton’s 6-foot-10 center Ben Seely.
The Wolverines were more than up to that challenge.
East Webster left West Lowndes High School with only a 55-45 victory over Hamilton but gave themselves a ticket to by region regular season champion Calhoun City Thursday night at 5:30 p.m..
“My guys really played well down low tonight and I thought the key was defensively we were able to turn some stops into instant offense,” East Webster head coach Corey Stidham said.
The ability of East Webster’s guard duo of Miguel Graham and Ledrick Patterson to penetrate Hamilton’s 3-2 zone defense early on got Seely in foul trouble forcing him out of most of the third quarter where the Wolverines turned the game into a up-tempo contest.
Graham finished the night with a game-high 21 points and Patterson would contribute a double-figure effort of 11 while running the team during a critical fourth-quarter stretch that saw a miniature Hamilton rally.
An 18-8 run by the Wolverines led by the inside out duo of Graham and forward Charles Guyton. Graham had 21 points with 16 of them coming in the second half of play.
“When they went to a primary guard lineup and let’s just say I like that kind of matchup with my guards,” Stidham said.
Guyton, while being primarily responsible for fronting Seely all evening on defense, also provided 11 points for East Webster.
Hamilton junior guard Demetrice Trimble had all of his team-high nine points in the fourth quarter but the Lions could never get the second-half deficit closer than five points as East Webster scored the final five points of the contest.
West Lowndes 43,
East Webster 42
The East Webster girls basketball team was 10 seconds away from extending its season but Tyesha Knotts simply wouldn’t allow that on her home floor.
In front of her home fans, Knotts caught the ball in the post and scored on a lay up with 10 seconds left to give the Panthers a nail-biting victory.
“We doubled her the whole night and honestly it worked great,” Lady Wolverines head coach Mandy Fondren said. “What happened on that final play was the girl in the back was too far away probably because she didn’t want to foul and when the ball was caught it was just a matter of turning and scoring.”