West Side played 32 minutes of near flawless basketball on Tuesday night, downing South Side Bee Branch's Hornets 69-51 as center Ben Hargrove, point guard Logan Bailey and shooting guard Bryce Hipp combined for 51 points in a 1A-2 South Conference showdown in Greers Ferry.
Hargrove, who scored 15 points in the first half, paced the Eagles (9-4, 3-0) with 19 points and 10 rebounds, Bailey scored 17 points and handed out six assists and Hipp added 15 points while drilling three shots from beyond the arc.
West Side Coach Benny Brown said the Eagles' success revolved around Hargrove's presence in the paint. “I thought it was obvious that Hargrove was the difference. They just didn't have an answer for him and we kept getting him the ball and he kept putting it in the basket.
“That gave some of the other boys some confidence and we hit some three's to get some distance. It was a good ballgame. They (South Side) have a super team and they don't ever quit. It seemed like we picked up the momentum when Hargrove had such a good first half. That was a big key to our success and of course Bailey always plays good and Hipp always plays good,” added Brown.
In a fast-paced first quarter, West Side outscored the Hornets 23-18 as Bailey, Hargrove and guard Jacob Miller each scored six points, Hipp drained a three-pointer and guard Keaton Sutterfield notched a bucket.
Miller nailed two three-pointers in the final minute of the first quarter, propelling the Eagles to a five-point cushion entering the second quarter. “Miller came in there and hit two key three-pointers,” Brown said. “They were guarding four men and leaving one wide open and when he hit those two three's they decided they were going to have to guard everybody and it made a little difference.”
After South Side forward Paxton Scott opened the second period with a bucket from right block, West Side fired back with a 12-2 run, starting when Hargrove scored underneath off an assist from Bailey.
Hargrove dropped a pair of free throws then Bailey stayed with his own miss and scored in a crowd as the Eagles pushed their lead to 29-20 before Scott answered in transition.
Bailey drilled a three-pointer up top and Hargrove completed an old-fashioned three-pint play, extending West Side's lead to 35-22 before South Side guard Austin Lewis hit a pull up jumper from right baseline.
West Side responded with five straight as Hargrove powered up for two from right block and Hipp canned a three-pointer from top of the key off an assist from Bailey. But the Hornets closed the first half with a 7-0 spurt, including five points from guard Mason Duncan, trimming the Eagles' lead to 40-31 at halftime.
South Side pulled within seven early in the third quarter when Duncan turned an offensive rebound into a pair of free throws but West Side quickly countered as Hipp and Sutterfield each drained a three-pointer.
Page 2 of 2 - Leading by 10 late in the third period, Bailey hit a hanging bank shot then Hipp slashed into the middle of the lane and finished with an acrobatic, off-balance shot in traffic, giving West Side a 55-41 lead entering the final eight minutes of play.
After trading baskets early in the fourth quarter, West Side slammed the door with a 7-0 run, sparked by forward Tanner Galeazzi, who scored in transition off an assist from Hargrove.
Hipp and Bailey each made a pair of free throws and Galeazzi added another from the charity stripe as the Eagles took a 66-45 lead and cruised down the stretch.
Following Hargrove (19 points), Bailey (17 points) and Hipp (15 points), Galeazzi added seven points for the Eagles (9-4, 3-0), while Miller had six and Sutterfield finished with five.
Duncan paced South Side (10-4, 1-1) with 19 points, while forward Will Pennington and Scott each scored 10 and Lewis chipped in six.
West Side visits Shirley tonight for another 1A-2 South contest.