Young Senators out-play experienced Musketeers, 44-43 PDF Print E-mail

When experience tangles with youth, especially in boys’ basketball, but that wasn’t the case Friday in Pekin.


The West Washington Senators, who have just two seniors listed on their varsity roster knocked off an experienced Eastern team that boasts eight seniors and five juniors, 44-43.

The Musketeers had a chance to tie the game when one of those seniors, Parker Wallingford, hit a basket and was fouled as time expired. His basket trimmed the Senator lead to one and he went to the charity stripe with no time remaining with a chance to tie the score.

Wallingford’s shot was off-line and the young Senators not only earned the win, but the praise of both head coaches after the game.

“I am super proud of the kids,” said WW Head Coach Sean Smith. “I am proud of the way they are fighting and buying in to playing like a team and bringing positive energy. They come to fight every night and they’ve done that in every game we’ve played in.

“It’s a great win, against a veteran team. To leave Pekin with a win, I am very, very proud of the guys, they deserve all the credit.”

EHS Head Coach Scott Newcomb agreed. He said no matter what grade you are in, playmakers make plays.

“They (West Washington) played tougher throughout the whole ball game,” Newcomb said. “When it came to crunch time they made plays and we found a way not to make plays.”

Newcomb said the loss was discouraging, especially coming off a 64-45 win earlier in the week at Scottsburg.

“It’s discouraging because Tuesday night we played really well and when Scottsburg made a run at us, we were able to pull away,” he said. “Tonight, we got up nine, they make a run, we don’t want the ball, we can’t make a play, we don’t make shots, we don’t block out and fall apart mentally, and I just don’t get it.”

Thanks to strong first half play by Matt Coats, who had 10 points, one rebound a couple of steals, Eastern led 11-6 at the end of the first quarter and was able to keep that lead at halftime, 22-16.

A basket by the Musketeers’ Leif Edlin, a free throw by Mason Moore and a basket by Connor Marshall stretched the advantage to nine, 27-18 early in the third quarter.

The Senators answered the run with a basket by Gavin Smith.

After a timeout, West Washington’s Jake Strange grabbed an offensive rebound and converted an and-one that trimmed the margin to four, 27-23.

Three points, one on a free throw and two from a basket, by Wallingford extended the EHS lead back to seven, 30-23.

One of the freshmen for the Senators, Holden Bowsman, closed the third quarter with a steal and five of his game-high 18 points to trim the deficit to two, 30-28.

Two free throws by Parker Green tied the score at 37-all and a three by Bowsman gave West Washington its first lead, 40-39.

Edlin hit two free throws to put the Musketeers back up one, but it was answered by a basket from Nick Marrs.

Green got a steal and was fouled going up for a basket. He hit the free throws and West Washington led 44-41.

EHS had a number of opportunities, but another steal by Bowsman gave West Washington the ball.

Green did miss two free throws that would have iced the game, leaving the door open for Wallingford’s and-one.

Down the stretch the three freshman, Strange, Green and Bowsman were the difference makers.

“They (Green and Bowsman) play with a lot of poise for freshmen,” Smith said. “They stepped up and made big shots and made some free throws. They are good players and I am pleased with what they did down the stretch. (Jake) Strange had a big bucket for us and he is coming along. Those three freshmen contributed to this win and are doing a good job. We want to see them continue to develop and we want to see that out of all our players. We have a great group of kids, who are fun to coach.”

Newcomb didn’t use poise, but instead said the Senators showed a lack of toughness that his team didn’t have.

That started with Wallingford’s miss at the end of the game.

“You are a senior, step up there and knock it down,” Newcomb said of the missed free throw.  “(He as to) think like a winner, step up to the line and make it,” “Bowsman did a nice job, he made plays. He hit a bank shot then steals the ball. If you are going to be a winner, go make plays and if not, don’t. It’s a tough situation to be in, but the bottom line is, you have to make plays.”

Newcomb said he got an idea that his team wasn’t ready for the challenge because of lackluster practices after beating Scottsburg.

“We win Tuesday and then Wednesday in practice they weren’t focused,” he said. “Thursday they were not very focused. They don’t realize how hard it is to win and respect opponents and get ready to play and get themselves ready to play. We were bigger man for man and more experienced, but they were tougher at every position. We’ve got to understand what it takes and realize the respect for the game we need to show. There are times we don’t. It’s hard to win, so you better prepare yourselves.”

Bowsman was all smiles after the win.

“It felt awesome,” he said. “Our coaches challenged us to come out and play with intensity and our crowd was great and we went out competed and got it done. I hit my first shot and that helped to get me going.

“In the middle of the third quarter things started clicking and think we all started to feel like we were going to win the game.”

The victory improves West Washington’s record to 2-1 on the season. They will travel to Paoli for their first PLAC game Friday and then host Trinity Lutheran Satuday.

Eastern is now 1-2 and will host Crawford County Friday and travel to Clarksville Saturday.

WWHS   6   10   12   16--44

EHS    11   11     8   11--41

WW (2-1): Zink 2, Green 4, Bowsman 18, Sanford 2, Marrs 4, Smith 1, Nicholas 5, Gavin Smith 4, Ables 1, Stange 3.

EHS (1-2): Lewellen 3, Edlin 3, Marshall 9, Coats 11, Moore 4, Wallingford 9, Sherron 2.

Three-pointers: WW (5): Bowsman 4, Nicholas 1; EHS (4): Lewellen 1, Coats 2, Moore 1.

Last Updated on Friday, 08 December 2017 14:09