Westover's Josh Black, who led his team to a 47-43 victory Tuesday against Dougherty, heads up court as Dougherty's Kendall Hicks defends during a game earlier this season.
ALBANY — Westover junior guard Josh Black made two must-have free throws and then made a pass surrounded by a sea of arms that sealed a region win against rival Dougherty late Tuesday during the nightcap of four games at the Albany Civic Center.
Black, who had four fouls for most of the fourth quarter, found Herald Super 6er Dequan Green wide open with 13 seconds left for an easy lay-in to seal a 47-43 win and keep pace with Region 1-AAA leader Monroe.
Green’s only two points of the game were the easiest for Westover all night after Black found him while being triple-teamed in a trap.
“(Green) was open,” Black said with a smile. “Wide open.”
Black later made two free throws with 44 seconds left that gave Westover (13-6, 7-1 Region 1-AAA) a 45-43 lead after Dougherty (5-9, 3-5 Region 1-AAA) scored seven points to start the fourth quarter to go ahead, 41-40.
“Just clutch,” Black said of why he was in the game late with four fouls.
He finished with seven points, while the Patriots were led by Kel Miller’s 10 on a night where points came at a premium.
Westover led, 40-34, after outscoring Dougherty, 10-5, in the third quarter to break open a 30-29 halftime lead. T.J. Cromer, who finished with eight for the Patriots, scored six points in the third alone.
But Dougherty stormed back in the fourth with a 9-1 run to open the quarter. Kendall Hicks, who led the Trojans with 10 points, had two big baskets in the second half, but none of the Trojans could find the hoop down the stretch, going scoreless in the final five minutes of the game after taking its only second-half lead.
“We’re pleased in spots,” Dougherty head coach Donald Poole said. “We’ve got to learn to take care of the ball and make wiser choices.”
Westover started the game 1-for-13 from the field, but got good a defensive effort from guys like Kerry Byrd (seven rebounds, two steals) to stay close before taking the lead in the second quarter.
Tevin Smith led Dougherty inside with 12 rebounds and added four points. Darryl Anthony scored nine and posted eight boards.
Westover next faces Cairo on Friday at home, while Dougherty plays host to Crisp County on Friday.