CLEVELAND — West Hall’s boys basketball team faced a road challenge against White County with the team’s leading scorer Jarquise Young severely limited after suffering a first-half injury.
Because of Spartans senior guard Dre Pou, Young’s injury wasn’t much of a factor.
The Spartans dominated the Warriors 60-35 Tuesday night behind Pou’s game-high 19 points — 10 of which came in the first quarter — along with solid defense, advantagious rebounding and a barrage of 3-pointers.
Earlier in the girls game, the Lady Warriors edged the Lady Spartans 40-39.
After losing their season opener to Jefferson, the Spartans (5-1) are on a five-game win streak. The Warriors dropped to 3-3.
“We just wanted to come out and take it to them,” Pou said. “Coach always says to go hard and never let up and that’s what we did.”
Leading 16-10 after the first quarter, the Spartans pulled away in the second quarter with four 3-pointers and an 18-6 run.
For the game, West Hall had seven 3s, and even 6-foot-5 post Shunquez Stephens joined in on the long-range action by drilling one late in the fourth.
“The 3s went in,” Spartans coach Warren Sellers said. “Especially in the second quarter. But it started with defense.”
Behind Stephens and William Stroup, West Hall limited the Warriors’ scoring opportunities down low, and Pou and Ty Cantrell forced several turnovers from the guard position, which led to easy lay-ups.
“They’re very long in their zone,” Warriors coach Mark Carroll said. “They have a lot of length, and that caused us to spread our offense even further. We weren’t attacking gaps because they were forcing us away from the basket and that caused us problems. We had a hard time scoring and getting good looks, and they got a lot of turnovers off us.”
West Hall also dominated the boards on both ends of the floor.
“Size was an advantage tonight and it showed on the boards,” Sellers said.
The Warriors couldn’t get any closer than 14 points of the lead in the second quarter.
Stephens finished with 13 points and Brandon Fuqua had 10 for West Hall. White County was led by Luke Crumley’s 14 points.
West Hall travels to Lawrenceville to play Mountain View (1-4) on Saturday and the Warriors travel to Gilmer (1-3) on Friday.
WHITE COUNTY GIRLS 40, WEST HALL 39: Taylor Freeman’s two free throws with 35 seconds remaining brought the score to its final margin and helped White County (1-4) to its first win of the season.
Freeman led the Lady Warriors with 12 points.
“This was huge for us,” Lady Warriors coach Jodie Watkins said. “We were 0-4 coming in, so this was a boost to our confidence. We’ve been working and working to get a ‘W’ so it’s nice to have a win in the column.”
For the Lady Spartans (2-5), it was another close loss for a young team — they have just one senior — trying to learn how to close out games.
“I was really proud of how the girls made it a game,” West Hall coach Lynn Jarrett said. “We made buckets down the stretch and almost pulled it out.
“After the the game, we talked about confidence and how to regain it and where it comes from. We’ll continue to work on it.”
Ashley Smith had eight points, Cassie Carter had six rebounds and Shauna Anderson had three assists for White County.
West Hall was led by Amber Johnson, who had 15 points, including 7-for-8 free throw shooting, and 10 rebounds. Tori Alfredson scored 11 points and hit three 3-pointers, while Miranda Miller had 15 rebounds for the Lady Spartans.