Southwest boys defeat Wheatmore, 82-61

Jan. 07, 2014 @ 12:15 AM

The Southwest Guilford boys switched defenses well, hit timely shots on offense and pulled away in the second half to beat Wheatmore 82-61 in nonconference basketball Monday night at Wheatmore.

Ben Ferguson scored 16 points to lead the Cowboys (10-3), while Arjun Patel added 14 points, and Kameron Langley and Tyliek Brister each had 12 points. Wyatt Rains and Ryan Grant each scored 15 points for the Warriors (9-4), while Marshall Lange followed with 14 points.

“I think we played well. I think it was a great collective effort,” said Ferguson, who hit four 3-pointers – including two during the game’s key run. “Everyone scored well; everyone passed well; and I think everyone did their parts and that’s why we won.

“Our shots weren’t falling too great in the first half. But in the second half, we picked it up – Coach gave us a great game plan. … I feel like we’re almost more of a second-half team. Our first halves are kind of close. But we always come out in the second half and pull away.”

Southwest led 31-27 at halftime before going on an 18-6 run midway through the third quarter – scoring on seven straight possessions – to turn a one-point lead into a 13-point lead. Its lead remained in double-digits the rest of the way.

“I think we wore them down some, and in the second half that kind of showed,” Cowboys coach Guy Shavers said. “I think the change of pace helped a little bit. We went to a zone to make them think a little bit, then we picked back up man-to-man and blew it open.

“We came out and pressured them, because I really wanted to wear them down. Once we got in that pace, it’s kind of like running and then putting on the breaks. Teams sometimes struggle with the change of pace like that.”

Southwest’s quick full-court trap worked well enough in the first half to help build a 14-10 lead through one quarter and as large as a seven-point lead in the second before going into halftime up four. But the Cowboys couldn’t break free.

The Warriors got to the basket in transition for easy scores and hit shots in their set offense when they needed to during the first half. But, during the second half, they did create scoring opportunities but struggled to finish and fell off Southwest’s pace.

“If we could hit a layup we’d be dangerous,” Wheatmore coach David Spell said. “We missed enough layups that we could’ve won the ballgame. … It has been six days since we’ve played, but we had four practices in there – I’d like to hope (being rusty) is what it is.

“I haven’t looked at the film, but I want to say there were 12 to 15 uncontested layups that we missed. That’s 24 to 30 points and we got beat by 21 – that’s the ballgame right there. You can’t miss layups. We played hard, but we just could not finish. And we’ll stress that in practice.”

Both teams play again Wednesday at home before starting conference play Friday. The Cowboys face Southeast Guilford, while Wheatmore plays Central Davidson.