By Will Nations
SALTILLO — Redemption has been on the mind of West Point’s five returning starters this past year.
After narrowly losing to New Hope in the District 2-5A semi-final last February, the heartbreaker has been the main motivator for one of the most successful basketball seasons in West Point High School history.
The Green Wave (24-5; 5-2 District 2-5A) acted on their emotions early springing out to a 14-2 run in the first quarter to defeat the Saltillo Tigers, 79-47, in the District 2-5A tournament semi-final Tuesday evening at Satillo High School.
“We’ve had that game in mind all week and pretty much all year,” West Point Head Coach Brad Cox said. “All spring, summer and fall, I have reminded them about that game. I didn’t have to mention it tonight, our guys were mentally in the game.”
Juan Davis provided a dominating performance against the Tigers, leading West Point with a 23-point night – well above his 16-point average during the regular season. Davis knocked down four 3-pointers and ended his night with a two-handed dunk off a baseline drive.
“From the beginning of the year, we have been preparing for this moment,” Davis said. “Everybody is ‘0-0’ right now. We treated Saltillo like they were (Jackson) Callaway.”
West Point set the tone early through a defensive presence that allowed for separation.
“A team can slow us down by scoring,” Cox said. “We stressed before the game about playing defense … We set the tone in the first quarter. We threw the outlet well and set up our offense on the defensive end.”
Davis scored his first eight points during the 14-2 run, which turned into a 15-point advantage by the end of the first quarter, 26-11. Qdarius Chandler added two 3-pointers in the second quarter, giving the Wave a 46-24 lead at the break.
Though the game looked well in hand, Cox did not want his team to let up in the second half.
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