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January 9, 2013

Blue Blazes come up big with their inside game

By Tom Chard
tchard@pressherald.com
Staff Writer

WESTBROOK - Zack Bean scored on a layup with 28 seconds remaining to break a tie Tuesday night and Westbrook went on to a 53-50 victory against Bonny Eagle in an SMAA boys' basketball game at Warren Gym.

Dustin Cole's 3-pointer from the right side for Bonny Eagle with five seconds left was strong. The Scots got the offensive rebound and tried to pass out for another 3-point attempt, but Westbrook (7-2) intercepted the ball as time expired.

It was a game of spurts between teams with contrasting styles. Westbrook took advantage of its height and pounded it inside. Bonny Eagle (7-2) has little height and shoots 3-pointers to compensate. The Scots hit six from beyond the arc.

On the decisive play, Westbrook's 6-foot-4 center, D.J. Breunig, was covered so Bean dribbled around the defense and scored off the baseline.

"I was looking for D.J. but he was covered," said Bean.

The Scots then threw the ball away and Keenan Lowe of the Blazes made 1 of 2 from the line with 12 seconds left.

"We knew Cole was going to take the final shot," said Bean. "We got in his face as much as we could."

It was Westbrook's biggest win and came halfway through the regular season.

"We've struggled a little on offense so far this season," said Westbrook Coach Mark Karter. "It's been kind of an up-and- down season, but anytime you can beat a quality team like Bonny Eagle, it's big. Our game is predicated on going inside. I thought our big men really played well. There's a long way to go and a lot could happen."

Westbrook led 25-13 in the second quarter, only to have the Scots, led by Cole and Ben Malloy, cut it to 26-21 at halftime with Cole hitting a 3-pointer at the buzzer.

Cole hit another 3-pointer at the buzzer to end the third quarter and give the Scots a 36-35 lead.

Breunig had all of Westbrook's points in the third quarter. The Blazes were effective going inside.

Westbrook opened the fourth quarter with a 9-0 run to take a 44-36 lead, including Breunig's three-point play to start it.

Bonny Eagle responded with an 8-0 spurt to tie it. Cole made two from the line, and Malloy hit a 3-pointer and followed with a three-point play.

The Scots were then hurt when C.J. Autry and Jon Thomas fouled out late in the game.

The Blazes' accuracy from the line in the fourth quarter was the difference. Alec Hazlewood, the team's other starting big man at 6-5, made 4 of 4 from the line in the fourth. As a team, Westbrook was 8 of 12 from the line in the final quarter.

Hazlewood finished with 12 points. Malloy added 16 points for Bonny Eagle.

"It was frustrating because we didn't play very well," said Bonny Eagle Coach Phil Bourassa.

Cole, the leading scorer in the SMAA, finished with a game- high 29 points despite being hounded defensively for most of the game.

Staff Writer Tom Chard can be contacted at 791-6419 or at:

tchard@pressherald.com

Twitter: TomChardPPH





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