ALBANY – Without one of its Herald Super 6 guards, Westover still managed to run away from Worth County Tuesday in Region 1-AAAA play, 68-52.
Patriots senior guard T.J. Cromer did not play in the game for unspecified reasons. He did, however, give an impromptu speech at intermission after a lackluster first half from the Patriots.
“We didn’t really play that good in the first half,” said Kel Miller, Westover’s other Super 6er. “(Cromer) talked to us at halftime and told us we had to pick it up some.”
Patriots head coach Dallis Smith said Cromer would miss two games, including Friday’s regular-season finale against Dougherty at Darton College. Smith called Cromer’s absence an “internal situation” and didn’t specify why Cromer was being held out.
“He’s been practicing hard and doing things we’ve asked him to do,” Smith said of Cromer. “He’s all in.”
Westover turned a 29-23 lead at halftime into a rout in the fourth quarter thanks to six points in the third from Miller. The Patriots (17-5, 11-2 Region 1-AAAA) won the third quarter 20-14 to open up a double-digit lead. Miller, who was held to two in the first half, finished with a game-high 16 points.
The key to the turnaround, according to Miller? Stop shooting so much.
“Coach told me I had to stop shooting because it wasn’t falling,” Miller said.
His steal and lay-in with 1:53 left in the third quarter gave Westover a 46-33 advantage and C.J. Davis followed with in a tip-in to push the lead to 15. Davis scored 10 to go with 14 rebounds.
Kyle Baker hits three 3-pointers in the first half to keep Worth (12-12, 5-8 Region 1-AAAA) at bay in the first half on Senior Night at Westover High.
“I thought we weren’t focused (in the first half),” Smith said. “It was Senior Night, but I thought we did a good job of regrouping for the second half.”
Westover sophomore Andre Kennedy blew the game open to start the fourth quarter with a block on one end of the court and a dunk on the other end to put the Patriots up 51-37 with 7:38 to play.
Tim Gaint had 11 to lead the Rams, while Brandon Moore added 10 in the loss.
Westover finishes out the regular season Friday against Dougherty at Darton College in a game that means much more to the Trojans because the Patriots have already wrapped up the No. 2 seed in the region. Worth plays host to Monroe Satuday to close out region play and will then play again Monday against an opponent to be determined in the region tournament.
Westover girls 71, Worth County girls 10:
Westover had four players score in double-figures Tuesday in a rout of Worth County.
Au'BreAnn Moore led the Lady Patriots with 13. Tiara Hughes scored 12 in the win, while Mykesa Smith and Shanteria Williams added 10.
Worth was led by Samantha Mathis' three points.
Westover (14-9, 7-6 Region 1-AAAA) plays Dougherty Friday at Darton and already knows it will have to play Monday as the No. 5 seed to open the region tournament.
Worth plays host to Monroe on Saturday.