OAKBORO — With a blowout 71-37 home victory over Anson on Friday night, the West Stanly boys’ varsity team stood alone in first place in the Rocky River Conference as the regular season reached the halfway mark.
The undefeated Colts (6-0, 4-0 RRC) easily took care of the Bearcats (3-1, 3-1 RRC), who entered the matchup also undefeated but left with a 34-point loss.
“I thought our defense was really good all night,” West Stanly head basketball coach John Thompson said. “I was really proud, especially in the second half, where we shared the ball and got much better offensive looks. We were really good from the free–throw line and the middle of the court.”
West senior forward Jake Bartell led his team with a career-high 22 points on 7-of-12 shooting and added five rebounds and three steals.
“We need to keep improving because these other teams are still improving,” Thompson said. “We start five seniors, so we should be a little bit ahead of everybody at the start of the season — we just need to keep on working.”
Colt seniors Austin Medlin and Trevor Kelly posted 17 points and 14 points, respectively, while junior Jacob Lisk had eight points. Medlin was a force on the Colts’ defense, notching a team-high ten rebounds (eight on the defensive side of the ball) to go with four blocks and three steals.
As a team, West limited Anson to only 27% shooting from the field (16 of 60), resulting in a season-low 37 points. A third of the Bearcats’ shots came from behind the 3-point arc, although they only converted three.
The Colts’ strong perimeter and interior defense generated a lopsided assist–to–turnover ratio for Anson — zero to 16.
Another area where West was able to capitalize on was at the free–throw line. The Colts hit 77% of their shots (17 of 22) while Anson was just 2-for-5 from the stripe.
The Colts were scheduled to play at Mount Pleasant (2-2, 1-2 RRC) on Tuesday, while the Bearcats will look to rebound from Friday’s loss with a scheduled matchup at Forest Hills (5-1, 3-1 RRC) against the Yellow Jackets.
With the Colts and Yellow Jackets appearing to be the two front-runners in the Rocky River Conference, their meeting this Friday might be a deciding factor in the final regular season standings. That game is set for a 7:30 p.m. tipoff in Marshville.