ALBANY -- It's fair to say that the Westover boy's basketball team hasn't looked like a playoff-bound squad of late, but after knocking off a surging Crisp County team -- winners of two in a row -- by a final of 85-75 on Wednesday night in a makeup game at Westover that was postponed earlier this year due to bad weather, whispers of its name may start to be heard echoing around the corner.
"Really, we have our destiny in our own hands," said Westover coach Dallis Smith, whose team is in second place in the Region 1-AAA race with a 7-2 record after Wednesday's win.
The Patriots are actually tied with Monroe (7-2) with three games left, but Monroe holds the tiebreaker from an earlier 42-37 win against Westover. But if Westover beats Crisp again in Cordele on Friday night and then beats Monroe next Tuesday in the Civic Center -- and ends the season with a win against Americus-Sumter next week -- the Patriots (13-9) could claim the No. 1 seed in the upcoming Region 1-AAA tournament. That's why Smith believes the Patriots control their destiny.
"We are trying to make it back to the state (tournament) and I thought we had a good effort (Wednesday night),'' Smith said.
That they did.
And Westover's Dequan Green and Herald Super 6er Malcolm Sapp were the catalysts. On a night when Crisp County's D.J. Jackson had a monster game with 40 points, Green and Sapp were there to answer for the Patriots.
Green led the team with 29 points and Sapp followed that up with 23 points, including a four-minute stretch at the end of the third quarter when he and Green went basket for basket before finally ending with a rim-rattling dunk by Sapp that put Westover up, 57-47, with 1:01 left on the clock.
In the fourth quarter, Jackson was most productive as Crisp (10-10, 5-4) saw its star score 17 points, but Westover's defense clamped down when it needed to, and led by double digits for most of the quarter.
"The main thing I wanted to be was aggressive," said Sapp. "I wanted to make big plays for my team so we could get the win."
As for the personal shootout with Green in the third quarter? Sapp loved it.
"It was very intense," Sapp said. "I like those kinds of games."
WESTOVER GIRLS 48, CRISP COUNTY 35:
The Westover girls recently moved back into the No. 1 spot in the Herald's Top 5 Poll, so the idea of letdown against a Crisp County team -- which was winless in region play -- was highly unlikely.
Westover left the idea open in the first half but shut that door in the second half, breaking the game open and cruising to a 13-point win.
"Crisp's record is not a representation of how good they are," Westover coach Lewis Smith said. "I'm just glad I won the one at home."
Super 6er DyTiesha Dunson led Westover (19-3, 8-1) with 11 points, followed by Cessiley Colwell with 10, while Crisp (2-12, 0-5) was led by freshman Nasheema Oliver, who finished with a game-high 16 points.
The Lady Patriots will look for similar success in a rematch against Crisp on Friday in Cordele.
"We'll see what we did wrong (in this game) and come out and hopefully play better on Friday," said Dunson.