Diamond Hornets Top Westwood in Region Battle

Westwood’s Touree Stokes gets air driving into the lane over L.R.’s Brandon Stroman (32).

The Redhawks gave Lower Richland a run Friday night, but ball-handling errors eventually doomed Westwood as they fell at home, 45-35.

Westwood head coach Terry Dozier had good words to say about his opposition.

“They are very athletic, and getting better as season goes along, as you would expect,” Dozier said. “They like to turn you over. They are real good players. If you turn it over and don’t get it back, say ‘cheese’ because there will be a highlight film!

“To beat them, we have to reduce turnovers; make open baskets and rebound,” Dozier added. “We’ve got to rebound to keep them to one shot per possession. Vincent (Hicklin), their center can reach above the rim. (Brandon) Stroman is a very athletic guy, he can shoot from the outside and go to the basket.”

Dozier’s prophesy about turnovers turned out to be accurate, as Westwood turnovers would allow Lower Richland to jump out to a six-point lead early. The first period ended with a score of 13-6, Lower Richland. On the strength of two buckets by Antonio Wright, Westwood would gain some momentum in the second period, cutting the Lower Richland lead to 15-12. By the half, turnovers would again haunt the Redhawks, as the Hornets took full advantage and went into the halftime locker room with a 30-14 lead.

The Redhawks outscored Lower Richland in the third quarter, cutting the deficit down to 39-24. Westwood capitalized on some Diamond Hornets’ turnovers in the fourth period to narrow the gap to 43-35. While Westwood sank five buckets in the last period, versus Lower Richland’s single basket, foul shooting prevented Westwood from coming any closer to a win. Lower Richland went to the foul line five times, nailing all five shots in the period.

As Dozier predicted, Hicklin was the high scorer for Lower Richland, and Wright led for Westwood with 10 points.

After the game, a disappointed Dozier said, “We’ve just got to cut the turnovers. That was the game right there! We have to gain more confidence in what we are doing.”

Tuesday night, the ‘Hawks edged out Chapin on the road, 50-49. Adonus Lee led Westwood with 16 points. Wright put in 13 on the night.

Westwood travels to Dreher High School tonight (Jan. 25) at 7:30 p.m.

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