By ZACH BIRDSONG
It was an all-West night when the Bobcats’ basketball teams hosted East Middle School and picked up a pair of victories against their crosstown rival on Thursday night.
The Lady Bobcats (2-0) scored the first 13 points and limited East to just two field goals on the night, earning a 58-5 win in the opener on Thursday.
The West boys (1-1) followed that game with a closer contest, securing a 33-21 victory over the Panthers.
With a 27-10 lead heading into the third quarter, the Bobcats’ offense was stifled as East attempted to try to battle back. With 42 seconds left in the contest, Panthers’ guard Kyler Parker knocked down a basket to cut it to a 31-21 contest.
That would be the closest the game would get though as West guard Ben Fulton knocked down a pair of free throws with 12 seconds left as the Bobcats held on for the victory.
Fulton led his team in scoring, racking up 13 points on the night, and making five of his six free-throw opportunities.
Isaiah Prince added 11 points, hitting one of two 3-pointers. Colten Tucker put up eight points, and Quinton Howard knocked down a free throw to round out the scoring for West.
Justice Stamatis led East in scoring, putting up eight points in the contest, including knocking down a 3-pointer and hitting three of four free-throw chances during the final quarter of play. Bailey Miller added six points, while Josh Daniels scored three points and Parker and Sam Pierce each added two points.
In an offensive struggle during the first quarter, West scored the first seven points of the ballgame. With 40 seconds left in the opening period, Miller scored the lone basket for the Panthers as the team trailed 7-2 heading into the second quarter.
The Bobcats took advantage of East’s turnovers in the second period, shutting out the Panthers in the quarter. West forced East into six turnovers during the period on its way to taking a 19-2 lead into halftime. Fulton, Prince and Tucker each scored four points, knocking down to baskets, to give the ’Cats the advantage.
Much like the second quarter, the Bobcats again were again able to force turnovers coming out of the halftime, as the Panthers had five miscues in the third quarter. After Pierce knocked down a pair of free throws for East, West scored six-straight points to take a 25-4 lead with 3:53 left in the third period.
Fulton knocked down one final jumper for the Bobcats, but East scored six of the final eight points in the period, to cut its deficit to 27-10 heading into the final quarter. Miller hit two field goals, while Stamatis buried another basket before the third period ended.
In the opener, the West girls jumped out to a 13-0 lead and never looked back in the victory as the Lady Bobcats’ defense dominated East. The Lady Panthers turned the ball over 29 times on the night as West cruised to the victory.
Olivia McCreary led the Lady Bobcats in scoring on the night, putting up 16 points in the victory, including knocking down two of three 3-point opportunities on the night. Macy Bowman added 13 points, while Jessica Edde added nine points. Tyana Harden added six points while McKenna Buckner scored five points, Kenzie Lenderman added four points, while Azja White and Emma Fulks each scored two points and Sierra Neese added one point.
After building a 13-0 lead in the first quarter, East scored its only field goal with 2:23 left in the opening period. Anastasia Vanzant put up the lone basket for the Lady Panthers as her team trailed 17-2 heading into the second quarter.
West dominated the second period, putting up 24 points in the quarter, taking a 41-3 advantage into halftime. McCreary scored eight points in the period, including knocking down both of her 3-pointers to lead the Lady Bobcats.
Buckner added five points, while Bowman scored four points and Edde added three points. Lenderman and Harden each added two points for West.
The lone point for East came after Emma Thomas made a free throw with 49.2 seconds left in the period.
Like the second quarter, West dominated the third, shutting out East in the period. Bowman scored six points, while McCreary added four points. White and Edde each added two points as the Lady Bobcats held a 56-3 lead heading into the final period of play.
Each team scored a basket during the final quarter of play. Fulks scored for West and Elizabeth Lawson scored for East as the Lady Bobcats won 58-3.
Following Thursday’s contest, East will host Coffee County on Monday. The girls varsity game is scheduled to get underway at 6 p.m. The boys game will tip off 15 minutes after the girls contest concludes.
West will host Warren County on Monday night. The girls game will get underway at 6 p.m. with the boys contest taking place 15 minutes after the girls game concludes.
Lady Bobcats win season opener
The West girls are currently the only undefeated team in Tullahoma at the middle school level, opening the season with a 52-30 victory over North last Monday.
The Lady Bobcats controlled the contest form the start, taking a 13-5 lead into the second quarter, and never looked back.
Bowman led all scorers in that game, putting up 13 for the Lady Bobcats in the win. Edde added 12 points while McCreary added 11 points. Harden scored seven points, Lenderman put up six points and Charleigh Scott scored three points.
Fulton scored 17 points for the West boys in the season opener, but it wasn’t enough as a late surge by North led the Gators to a win. Late in the contest, North guard Grant King knocked down a clutch 3-pointer that allowed the Gators to secure the 30-28 victory.
Prince added eight points for the Bobcats, while Tucker and Howard each scored once while Chad Farler knocked down a free throw.
East teams struggle in season openers
With the losses to the West teams, both of the East squads dropped to 0-2 on the season, after losing their season openers to Warren County on Monday.
Each of the Panthers teams scored 11 points as they were routed at home by the Pioneers. The East girls fell to Warren County 58-11 and the East boys lost 55-11.
At the end of the first quarter, the Lady Panthers trailed 15-2 setting the tone on Monday. Vanzant led the East girls in scoring, putting up four points, while Lawson added three points and Meghan Prosser and Blair Pyrdum each scored two points.
Like the girls, the Panthers fell behind early, trailing 23-3 at the end of the first quarter and things did not improve. Pierce led East in scoring putting up four points, while Stamatis scored three points and Parker and Lucas Scott each scored two points.