Kayle Bowens led Americus-Sumter to its first win of the season Tuesday with 18 points against Westover.
ALBANY --- C.J. Davis had something to prove Tuesday.
After two sub-par games in a win against region foe Cairo and a lopsided loss at Tift County, Westover’s big man gave the Patriots the inside force they need with 11 points in the third quarter, sparking a second-half onslaught and a 87-57 win against Americus-Sumter.
Davis, a 6-foot-5 center who has the frame to play center on the court and the gridiron –- he said Tuesday that he plans to play football next year -- led the Pats with a career-high 15 points and 11 rebounds to help Westover stay unbeaten in Region 1-AAAA play.
“I feel like I had to make up for the last two games,” Davis said. “I just played as hard as I could.”
The Patriots (4-1, 3-0 Region 1-AAAA) used a 28-9 third quarter to blow open a tight first half after seeing Americus-Sumter get as close as 33-29 on Xavier Willis’ layup with 3:34 left in the second quarter.
“We were just giving up open shots and they were knocking them down,” Davis said of the first-half defense.
T.J. Cromer, who scored 10 in the first and finished with 16 points, drained back-to-back 3s in the first quarter and Kyle Baker’s driving lay-in with 37 seconds left in the half opened up a 43-32 Westover lead at halftime.
“We settled down in the second half,” Westover head coach Dallis Smith said. “They let the game come to them. We looked pretty good in the third quarter.”
You could say that.
The Patriots shot out of the gate in the third with eight straight points on two baskets each from Davis and Khalil Carson. By the time Panthers’ guard Mike Volley hit a layup with 5:42 left in the third, Americus was down 17 and the mercy clock was on in the fourth quarter –-- a six-minute quarter in the final period when a team is trailing by 30 entering the fourth.
Volley led Americus (0-3, 0-3 Region 1-AAAA) with 15 points, while Willis added nine. Kel Miller scored 17 to lead the Patriots, but it was the inside presence of Davis that strengthened Westover.
“He came on late in the year (in the 2011-12 season),” Smith said of Davis. “We were looking forward to this year with him getting all the minutes and seeing what he is capable of and giving us an inside presence.”
Westover travels to Class A Terrell County on Saturday, while Americus looks for its first win at home against Worth County on Friday.
AMERICUS-SUMTER GIRLS 43, WESTOVER 39:
ALBANY — Kahler Fletcher hit only one shot all night.
But it was a big one.
After a two-point first quarter — yes, two points — Americus-Sumter’s Lady Panthers battled back and handed Westover its first region loss of the season, 43-39, thanks in large part to Fletcher. The Americus senior, who transferred from Westover two seasons ago, stepped just inside the arc with 17 seconds left and drained a jumper to put the Lady Panthers ahead, 40-39.
After Westover missed its ensuing shot with less than 15 seconds to play, A’Dasiah Mercer hit one of two free throws and Tanyelle Hill had the putback on the second miss in the final five seconds to make up the final deficit.
Kayla Bowens led Americus (1-3, 1-3 Region 1-AAAA) to its first win of the season with 18 points. Westover (4-3, 2-1 Region 1-AAAA) led 9-2 after one quarter but lost the lead in the third after being outscored 16-6 in the third quarter. The Lady Patriots were led by Shanteria Williams’ 10 points. Mykesa Smith had nine in the loss.
WESTOVER BOYS ROMP: ALBANY — Westover continued its early-season dominance in region play Tuesday with a 87-57 win against Americus-Sumter.
The Patriots (4-1, 3-0 Region 1-AAAA) used a 28-9 third quarter to blow open a tight first half. C.J. Davis’ 11 third-quarter points sparked the second-half rout. Davis finished with 17, along with senior guard Kel Miller. T.J. Cromer added 16 in the win.
Mike Volley led the Panthers (0-3, 0-3 Region 1-AAAA) with 15 points. Xavier Willis added nine.
Westover shot out to a 43-32 lead at halftime thanks to Cromer’s 14 in the first half, including back-to-back 3s that stretched the lead to 11 at the end of the first quarter.