Westover's T.J. Cromer injured his ankle after awkwardly landing on it during a dunk attempt in Tuesday's game against Lee County, but he managed to avoid serious injury and still lead the Patriots in scoring.
ALBANY – Westover blew away visiting Lee County, 80-35, Tuesday in non-region play and survived a scare to one of its senior leaders.
Westover flew out to a 23-9 lead in the first quarter and extended it to 49-19 at halftime. Senior guard T.J. Cromer scored 11 in the first half, but was helped off the court after injuring his knee in the second quarter. Cromer came down awkwardly after attempting a dunk off a fast-break steal to give the Pats a 40-19 lead with 2:58 left in the first half and squirmed on the floor in pain. He later returned to the bench and walked off the court unassisted. Westover head coach Dallis Smith said Cromer may be able to play in an early Region 1-AAAA matchup Friday at Cairo.
“(The knee) just popped out of place and popped back in,” Smith said of Cromer’s injury. “We’ll try to keep it iced and look at it (today).”
Cromer, Westover’s quarterback last Friday, was one of a handful of Patriots’ football players returning to the court just a few days removed from the team’s season-ending loss in the second round of the GHSA Class AAAA playoffs. Smith said he was pleased with the hustle after limited reps at practice for the newcomers and the Pats’ second wave of players off the bench.
“I really liked that the second group came out with a lot of energy,” Smith said. “It was the first time having the football players back and they came out and gave a lot of effort.”
Cromer ended with 11 despite not playing in the second half, although he did return to the bench. Kyle Baker added nine for the Pats (2-0), who travel to Cairo Friday for a Region 1-AAAA contest after starting the region with a win over Albany. Kel Miller scored eight in the win.
Lee County (2-2) was led by Stephen Collier, the Trojans' quarterback on the football field, with 10 points. Justin Foreman scored eight in the loss. The Trojans are adjusting under new head coach Kirven Davis, who was an assistant at Terrell County last season.
“My style of coaching is a little different,” said Davis, once an assistant at Westover. “They’re adjusting to me and my coaches. You don’t ever want to lose, and you especially don’t want to lose (in lopsided fashion), but if I’m going to I’d rather it be to a quality program (like Westover).”
Lee County travels to Colquitt County Saturday night, pitting Davis against his former Packers’ team he coached two seasons ago. Facing Colquitt, which is still in the Class AAAAAA football playoffs, remains a special game for Davis.
“That’s a game that we want to win,” he said.