Aiken sweeps Westside in basketball

Westside already made one stunner to force an extra four minutes, but the Patriots were blocked at their most desperate moment trying for a second.

After Zack Johnson hit a 3-pointer to send it to overtime, the Patriots boys basketball team’s final chance in that extra period was rejected prior to the time running out in a 72-70 Aiken win in overtime Friday night at Westside.

Players on both sides took turns making huge plays late, but Aiken was the one with just enough.

Shawn Moore scored 23 points in the win and gave the 10-4 Hornets the lead for good when he tipped in a miss to make it 71-70. He later made one of two free throws for the game’s final point.

From the other side, the Patriots’ Frank Booker scored a game-best 32 points in the tough defeat and got assistance from Mykel Brown in Westside’s fourth-quarter comeback.

With his team down eight after three quarters, Brown scored all eight of his points in the fourth. His play made Johnson’s 3-pointer a possibility.

After Brown did his part, the Patriots eventually tied it. With Aiken blanketing Booker late, someone else had to step up, and Johnson did.

The Patriots didn’t get a second late-period bucket to tie, however, and they fell to Aiken for the second time this season.

In the girls game, Aiken withstood a Westside rally and then surged to the finish in a 54-39 win.

The Lady Hornets initially looked to be comfortably ahead in the third quarter, as Aiken was given space on the perimeter and four different players hit a 3. Aiken’s edge also got into the 20s with help from turnovers.

The Lady Patriots did fight back, however, as Azia Gibson was a force inside during a stretch. Gibson hit six foul shots in the third quarter and wound up with a team-high 16 points to assist Westside’s climb to within 42-33.

But as quickly as Westside made it close, Aiken turned it around. Rebekah Muir helped, saving a steal from going out of bounds near the sideline by passing the ball before Erin Gilmore got in the layup. The bucket helped Aiken beat Westside for the second time this season.

“This time, we were able to hold them off a little better,” Lady Hornets coach Aubrey Pompey said.

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