West Point boy’s down unbeaten Louisville

By: 
BRIAN HAMILTON
Staff Writer

West Point returned home on Friday night after a month-long road trip of away games and tournaments. The Green Wave came away with an overtime win against previously undefeated Louisville, and as West Point head coach Donta Yates puts it, it feels good to be home.

“Any time you get a win at home, it always feels good,” Yates said. “We’ve been on a losing streak and we got those guys coming in from football and we are all starting to gel together. I think that’s how we got the win tonight.”

The Green Wave held onto a 10-9 lead after the first quarter. West Point was down 17-15 in the second quarter when Dishoune Cooperwood nailed a fourpoint play to give the Green Wave a 19-17 lead with 3:05 left before halftime.

The Wildcats’ Deonte Yarbrough grabbed a rebound and put it in with 20 seconds left, to give Louisville a 24- 22 lead, but a buzzer-beating layup by Michael Gibson would send the game to the break at 24-24.

West Point had a monstrous third quarter, outscoring the Wildcats 22-12 to take a 46-36 lead after three quarters.

Louisville would not fold, however, as the Wildcats overcame the 10-point deficit and sent the game into overtime at 58-58. The Green Wave held a 55-48 lead with 3:34 left in the fourth, but turnovers and bad shots allowed Louisville to creep back into the game.

Keyshawn Gladney drained a three-pointer with 2:13 left to cut the West Point lead to 57-55, followed by a Braylen Laine layup that knotted the game at 57. With the game tied,

Jacorius Hammond went to the line and made one-of-two free throws to give the Green Wave a one-point advantage with 13 seconds left. On the ensuing possession, Tequavious Brags was fouled going to the hoop and made the front end of a pair of foul shots, sending the game into overtime at 58-58.

During the overtime period, West Point looked down and out. Louisville went up 63-58 with 2:32 left in overtime, but the Green Wave had no quit in them. A basket, followed by a crowd-jolting slam dunk by Shun Crawford really put the energy back into the team. Crawford’s jam cut the Wildcat lead to 63-61.

Moments later, Brandon Harris drained a pair of free throws to tie the game at 63- 63 with 46 seconds left in overtime. With only seconds left in the game, Cooperwood grabbed a steal and was fouled on his way to the basket. He nailed both foul shots to give West Point a 65-63 lead and Louisville missed a desperation heave at the buzzer.

“In the locker room, on my dry erase board, I wrote one thing,” Yates said. “Just win. That’s all we wanted to do. Next game, at home again, hopefully we will have the same result.” Cooperwood led the Green Wave with 14 points, while Demarius Chandler added 12 points and five rebounds. Hammond finished with 10 points and seven rebounds, while Crawford pitched in with eight points and six boards.

Yates commended the community’s turnout, as there was many West Point supporters on hand to help pull the Green Wave to victory.

“It feels good seeing the West Point community coming out tonight,” Yates said. “We just hope to see them more often. Without the support of the community and those guys playing hard, it wouldn’t have happened.”
West Point will host
Kemper County on Tuesday,
Dec. 19th, while Louisville
(9-1) will travel to
Choctaw County on Tuesday,
as the Wildcats look to
rebound from their first loss
of the season.

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