You may have heard about it or saw it for yourself. However you did, for the fourth straight year, the women’s Westlake Lions basketball team is legit. Friday night featured a dominant and lopsided 78-6 win against region opponent North Atlanta.

The Warriors knew what they were up against in the Lions. The three-time state champions in the last three years with 2020 Ms. Georgia Basketball in Raven Johnson and a tough crew in Taniya Latson and forward Brianna Turnage.

The Lions wasted no time getting after the Warriors jumping out to an early 14-0 lead in the first quarter. Latson led the way for the Lions with eleven points while Johnson assisted on her buckets. The first quarter resulted in a 25-1 score as the Lions second team and reserves finished the quarter.

The second quarter belonged to Johnson, the future guard for the South Carolina women’s team as she added five points to her point total. Turnovers plagued the Warriors all night but the second quarter proved to be the worst of them all. The second team and reserves finished the second quarter as the Lions went into halftime up 42-6.

Latson and the Lions defense cashed in off of Warriors turnovers and misses in the third quarter as she led scorers with nine points. While Johnson did not score, she facilitated the Lions’ offense as they converted on fast-break layups and open shots. Two points are all the Warriors scored in the third and the only points they would score for the rest of the game. The end of the third quarter resulted in a 62-6 score.

The Lions added 16 points between three of their starters and two reserves as guard Faith Bryant finished with four points in the fourth quarter. Latson led all scorers with 23 points as Johnson was second with 16. The Lions 78-6 win keeps them undefeated on the season as they host Hughes on Tuesday.

For the men’s team, they needed a win against the Warriors Friday to secure first place in region 4-6A. A win by the Warriors would keep them out of first and tie the regular season matchup at 1-1.

It was the Lions jumping ahead early and fast as they went on an 11-0 run to open up the game. Lions guard Christian Johnson scored nine of the 11 points in that run as he was sizzling early.

The Lions increased their lead to 16 points in the second quarter but the Warriors managed to stay around and make it a competitive game.

Before halftime, Warriors forward Montavious Myrick converted on a putback layup giving the Warriors much needed momentum going into halftime. They only trailed by 11 as the score was 30-19.

The Warriors defense adjusted in the second half holding the Lions to only seven points in the third quarter and getting within four points off the lead.

The Warriors stayed close within four points in the fourth quarter but could never tie nor take the lead in the game. Lions guard Gaddis Heath made a tough layup slicing through the tough Warriors defense giving the Lions a much needed bucket to stay ahead.

Heath and the Lions made late free throws late to put the game away as they survived 55-50. The Lions move to first place in the region and will face Banneker Saturday.

Photo: Anfernee Patterson/The Atlanta Voice

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