The March to Macon continued this week with an elite eight doubleheader between the Westlake Lions and the Kell Longhorns. This game featured a sold-out crowd with very intense fan bases. One side dressed in black and blue and the other side dressed in burnt orange.

The first game featured the defending state champions in the Lions and the defending state runner-ups in the Kell Longhorns (in Class 5-A last year).

Westlake guard Ta’Niya Latson led all scorers with 28 points as the Lions won 55-46.

Since playing McEachern earlier in the season, no opponent has been able to hang within less than ten points all season until Tuesday.

The Longhorns started off strong getting off to an early lead and forcing turnovers. Westlake however recovered and settled into the game to take control. The major key was Westlake’s defense being the difference as they were able to get points off of turnovers thanks to Latson who finished the quarter with seven points (four off of turnovers).

The Lions lead 14-8 after the first quarter.

In the second quarter, the Longhorns’ offense struggled, largely due in part to the Lions’ tenacious defense. This led to the Lions getting out to a 13 point lead with a lot of momentum on their side. Latson finished this quarter with nine points.

A late three by Longhorns guard Crystal Henderson cut the Lions lead to nine heading into halftime as they led 23-14. The Longhorns scored only six points in the quarter.

The second half is where it all changed for the Longhorns. They found their offensive groove and gave the Lions trouble on defense.

Henderson led the way for the Longhorns scoring 11 points in the quarter. Henderson hit three three-pointers including a stepback which brought the Lions lead down to four.

The Lions were still able to hang onto their lead as 43-37 was the count at the end of the third quarter.

Four points are as far the Longhorns could get into the Lions lead before Westlake killed their momentum. Senior guard Raven Johnson made a putback layup putting the Lions ahead by six which killed the chance of the Longhorns winning.

Westlake forward Brianna Turnage finished the game with a dazzling layup while taking the ball behind her back. She finished with 17 points in this game.

The Lions advance to the Final Four with the 55-46 win and will face River Ridge on the road Friday at 6 p.m.

Westlake boys fall to Kell 78-68

The boys were unable to be victorious against the Kell Longhorns thanks to the great play of Kell guard Scoot Henderson.

Henderson finished with 25 points in this game while also converting on all of his free throws.

As the game started, the Lions had trouble taking care of the basketball and the Longhorns full court and man-to-man pressure defense forced Lions turnovers.

On the first play of the game, Henderson finished the fast break with a slam dunk to get the Longhorn crowd hyped.

After Kell was able to jump out to a seven-point lead, the Lions settled into the game and went basket for basket with them. The Longhorns still lead by two at the end of the first quarter.

Lions forward Jalal McKie led the Lions in scoring with seven points in the first quarter.

The Lions were able to grab their first lead of the game in the second quarter for a brief minute until the Longhorns converted on a putback layup. Both teams played close the whole quarter. At the half, the Longhorns led 35-32.

The Longhorns were able to stretch their lead in the third quarter to lead 53-43 at the end of the quarter.

The Lions still fought their way back into the game getting the Longhorns lead down to five.

Lions guard Gaddis Heath had an opportunity to cut the lead down to three on the fastbreak layup but missed it. In the end, that was the last chance the Lions had of winning the game and taking the lead.

McKie finished with 30 points while Heath finished with 14.

Photo: Anfernee Patterson/The Atlanta Voice

Leave a comment

Your email address will not be published.