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It can be difficult to get a win on the road. That statement is even more true in district 2 5-A boys competition as only one team has been able to pick up a win outside of their home gym.
The Green Wave entered into hostile territory Tuesday night to take on district-rival New Hope. In the previous meeting, West Point was able use a thrilling comeback to defeat the Trojans 67-63 at home.
Tuesdayâ€™s action was very similar as both West Point and New Hope match-up very evenly on the court. West Point used a good first half to take a narrow 32-30 lead into halftime. The Wave fought valiantly in the second half to keep the lead away from New Hope, but the Trojans were able to rally and close out the game in the final period of play to win 64-54.
The first quarter was an absolute track meet as both teams flew up and down the court. New Hope was the first to draw blood taking a 15-7 lead by the middle of the first. The Wave though continued to push the Trojans closing out the first quarter only trailing 20-18.
In the second quarter, the Wave spread the ball around and got many contributions from different players as West Point took a 26-22 lead with 4:46 left in the first half. The Trojans soon found the answer to the Waveâ€™s success and closed down the West Point lead. Even though the Trojans forced the issue late in the first half, the Wave stilled remained in the driver seat 32-30.
West Point started off the third quarter with a thunderous Juan Davis alley-oop dunk, but that was the only true highlight of third quarter for the Wave as New Hope dominated the quarter. Trading baskets with the Trojans, West Point held a 40-36 lead by the midway point of the third period. New Hope answered with an 8-0 run allowing the Trojans to close out the third with a 49-41 lead.
The situation never got better for the Wave after third as New Hope continued to find their rhythm from the floor in fourth quarter. West Point could never get over the eight-point deficit and fell to the Trojans 64-54.
Looking back at the game, the second period was a tough and key one for the Wave as senior Center Lyndon Johnson exited the game with a wrist/hand injury. Also Dequan Ewing and Demarius Calvert picked up their third fouls before the halftime interval forcing West Point to play a more guard-centric style of play in the second half.
â€śFoul trouble hurt us tonight,â€ť comment West Pointâ€™s head coach Brad Cox about having to change his rotation during the game, â€śEwing and Calvert picked up their third fouls before halftime and the exit of Lyndon [Johnson] with an injury forced us to go small down the stretch.â€ť
Leading scorer for the Wave was A.J. Jones with 13 points. Davis also got into double figures with 12 points. Tre Williams (7 points), Emmanuel Moore (6 points), Peair Howard (6 points), Ewing (4 points), Calvert (4 points), and Johnson (2 points) contributed for West Point.
District 2 5-A is now wide open as all four teams can jockey for the number one seed with the regular season coming to a close. Coach Cox and his West Point team will hope to rebound Friday night as they play host to the Saltillo Tigers. In the previous meeting, Saltillo got the best of the Wave winning 72-58. West Point will hope to return the favor to the Tigers on senior night and to continue their push for the first seed. The boyâ€™s game is set to tip-off around 7:30.