All it took for a West Point victory was only two holds of the lead. The Green Wave had an infant lead to start the game 2-0 in the first quarter and the all-important lead takeover 64-61 after a Tre Williams three-pointer and free-throw with 2:16 left in the game.
Friday night was once again an exciting match-up for the Wave as West Point hosted their district-rival and close Golden Triangle neighbor New Hope. Entering into the contest, the Wave were behind the eight-ball with a 0-1 record in district 2 5-A play after a loss to the Saltillo Tigers in December. Hosting the district undefeated Trojans though was an even taller task for the Wave.
West Point fell behind after a sub-par first half which allowed New Hope to take a double-digit lead 40-27. Yet, it was inspired play from Williams, A.J. Jones, Juan Davis, and Demarius Calvert which allowed for the Wave to overcome the 13 point halftime deficit to beat the Trojans 67-63 giving West Point their first district victory.
“We talked a lot at halftime about being down by thirteen,” said West Point’s head coach Brad Cox, “the second half is long and we just wanted to continually chip away at their lead.”
Though trailing at halftime 40-27, West Point played very smart and scrappy basketball in the second half as the Wave at one point in the third quarter were able to close the New Hope lead 47-41 before the Trojans closed out the third quarter with a 4-0 run and a 51-43 lead.
Foul-trouble besieged the Trojans in the fourth quarter as the Wave used 15 made free-throws and absolutely clutch play to finally get their second lead of the game against New Hope. It was also a spectacular effort from Williams who propelled West Point into the lead when he knocked down the corner three-pointer and drew the shooting foul. Once the Wave found the lead at the 2:16 mark, West Point took full control of the contest and never handed it back to the Trojans. West Point was the winners after Jones iced the game from the charity stripe 67-63.
Williams finished the night with 4 three-pointers and a game high 23 points for West Point. Calvert also finished the night with a great inside performance scoring 18 points for the Wave. Rounding out the top scorers was Jones with 11 points, 7 of those points coming from made free throws.
It was a massive undertaking for the young men of West Point to comeback from such a large deficit and one that showed the drive and determination of the Wave. “The team needed it!” proclaimed Williams and Jones following the huge must-win district game.
Now the Green Wave have brought their district record to 1-1 and conquered the previously undefeated New Hope at home. The next district match-up will come against the Oxford Chargers at home and will be another very important contest for West Point. “All the district games are big, but especially the ones at home are even bigger with how hard it can be to win on the road in our district, they really are must wins.” Commented Coach Brad Cox about the win against New Hope and the upcoming game against Oxford.