Those clanks would eventually turn into conversions from way, way outside, but Westside didn’t wait for Frank Booker to get hot to take control.
After a slow start, the Patriots improved and won easily, with Quinton Phillips’ strong play a constant in a 74-53 win Wednesday against Jeff Davis in the first round of the Class AA state playoffs.
Westside will be home again in the second round, with a 5 p.m. contest on Saturday.
“We kept our composure, so we were able to come back,” Phillips said.
Down 7-0, the Patriots (23-2) found the open man on offense, sometimes when Jeff Davis doubled Booker. But Westside also ran the floor well, with Phillips winning the race for a loose ball in the second quarter. Phillips didn’t stop until he got his two points and gave the Patriots a 22-16 lead.
Phillips was a scoring threat the entire night, scoring 22 points. Nine of those came in the opening quarter, when Westside still reached 20 points even with the poor start.
In time, Booker got into a rhythm. With seemingly every spot on the floor in his range, Booker didn’t shy away from shooting through the early slump. After scoring only one point in the first quarter, he had seven and then eight in the next two.
In the fourth, with Westside now up comfortably 60-43, Booker erupted for 12 more points, with nine of those off 3-pointers. Booker still had 28 points despite the early misses.
Shannon Smith had 16 points for Jeff Davis, including two early field goals in that 7-0 spurt at the beginning, but Westside embarked on a 14-4 run to start the third period. After Booker hit a 3-pointer to cap the stretch, 4:38 remained in the quarter and the Patriots were ahead 51-33, essentially putting the game out of reach.
“I’m glad we won, but I think we can play better,” Westside coach Marvin Fields said.