West Side snapped its four-game losing streak with a convincing 62-46 mercy-rule victory over White County Central's Bears on Tuesday night in Greers Ferry.
Point guard Logan Bailey led the Eagles (6-4) with 20 points, including 17 in the first half, while center Ben Hargrove scored 17 points and pulled down 11 rebounds in three quarters of play. Guards Jacob Miller and Bryce Hipp each chipped in eight points for West Side.
Eagles' Coach Benny Brown said Hargrove served as an intimidating factor.
“Ben got some tremendous rebounds. He pulled some great big rebounds down and he did a decent job on defense. I think having someone in the middle like him has to do with how the other team is going to try and score. Especially with them (WCC). They were trying to take it right down the middle to the basket and he was there in the middle, kinda intimidating them,” added Brown.
After opening the season with five straight wins, West Side lost its next four, starting with three road losses to Wonderview, Calico Rock and Mount Vernon-Enola by an average of 4.2 points. Bay then defeated West Side 78-70 in Greers Ferry on Monday.
Brown said his team should have won all of those games except for Bay. “We had a better team than the other teams that beat us with the exception of Bay last night. That was a pretty good matchup. Bay is one of the better teams in the state. Of course, I am not short cutting any of these other teams but the night we played Wonderview they deserved to win but we are a better team than they are.
“Up at Calico Rock we were a long way from home and things are different when you are that far from home. I know how they feel when they come over here. But, we are a lot better team than they are.”
Brown said the loss at MVE falls entirely on his shoulders.
“Now the reason we lost over at Mount Vernon the other night …We played the same way we did tonight, might have played a little better and the score was as bad as it was tonight in the first half.
“It was coaching. I subbed out. Notice tonight I didn't sub out until we got to the mercy-rule. I learned my lesson. I put those kids that played in the last quarter tonight in and they started hitting threes and they cut it down to 18 and we were 28 points ahead. Then I put these other guys back in and they couldn't do nothing.
“Once they [MVE] got that momentum going we couldn't stop it. I felt so bad. I've never felt that low. I've lost games where people come from behind and beat you but never one like that. It wasn't the kids fault. I don't think the kids have given up on me,” Brown smiled.
Page 2 of 2 - In Tuesday's win over the Bears, West Side jumped out to an 11-0 lead as Bailey hit a driving floater in traffic, Hargrove made a free throw and guard Bryce Hipp drove coast-to-coast then finished with a gliding finger roll.
Hipp swiped a steal and scored then Hipp found Bailey in transition for a layup before guard Keaton Sutterfield picked a steal and finished in the open floor.
With the Eagles leading by nine late in the first quarter, Sutterfield slashed left baseline and scored in heavy traffic then Bailey ripped a three-pointer from left wing, extending the Eagles' lead to 18-4 after one quarter of play.
West Side outscored WCC 27-17 in the second quarter behind a pair of three-pointers from Miller and 10 points by Bailey, who also nailed a three-pointer and completed an old-fashioned three-point play.
Hargrove and Hipp each scored four points in the second period, while post-player Tyler Inman contributed three points as the Eagles took a commanding 45-21 lead to the locker room.
Hargrove took over in the third quarter, scoring 10 points as the Eagles pushed their lead to 62-32, meaning the clock would run continuously throughout the fourth quarter.
Guard Trace James paced WCC (1-4) with 10 points, forward Garrett Horton added eight and forward Ethan Hall finished with seven.
West Side hosts Bradford on Tuesday.