Westwood bests Hammond

BLYTHEWOOD – Hammond showed the Westwood boys that a fast-break team could make a run against them Tuesday night.

The Redhawks opened the 2017-2018 basketball season by stopping that run and going on a couple of scoring runs of their own. They closed out a 62-37 victory that head coach Jeff DiBattisto said showed that his young team has a lot of promise.

Russell Jones Jr. (2) splits Hammond defenders for two. | Leroy Howard

“We came back with one of our own, and that response is a growth thing, it’s a big deal,” DiBattisto said.

After Hammond went on a 9-0 run that bookended intermission, Westwood slowed down the Skyhawks in the second half.

“They went 2-3 zone on us,” DiBattisto said. “They’ve got a lot of good players so it’s not a surprise that they would make a run, but I thought we did a good job on their misses at getting out (to the ball) and running and finishing in transition.”

Just after Jordan Burch put in a layup that put Hammond within 30-29 midway in the third, Westwood called a timeout.

Coming out of that timeout, Tyrell Huff sank a basket and Ahman Green got a putback to give Westwood a 34-29 lead. Those two baskets kicked off an 11-3 run that gave the Redhawks a 41-32 lead going into the fourth.

Westwood owned the final stanza, outscoring the Skyhawks 21-5. The fact that Westwood could close out strong despite a tepid start is promising, but he also understands that it’s going to take a little while for new players to get acclimated.

“We’ve got so many new guys and it’s gonna take some time to get adjusted to our style of play,” DiBattisto said. “Our defensive expectations as well. Our guards did a good job in the second half of controlling the tempo and we did a great job of rebounding when we had to get some stops.”

Tyrell Huff and Russell Jones Jr. led the way with 16 points apiece for Westwood.

The Redhawks play host to Fairfield Central Friday.

“We’ve got a lot to look forward to,” DiBattisto said about the season. “But we’ve also got a lot to clean up.”

 

Hammond – 11 – 12 – 9 – 5 — 37

Westwood  – 22 – 8 – 11 – 21 — 62

H: Washington 8, Green 7, L. Prickett 6, Lipsitz 4, Burch 4, A. Prickett 3, Wilson 3, Canty 2

W: Russell Jones 16, Tyrell Huff 16, Stroman 8, Dunlap 6, Wormack 4, Green 4, Adams 2, Coleman 2, Lewis 2, Turner 2.

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