SAVANNAH, Ga. - A quick look at Westover's scouting report gave Josey coach Emmett Rouse two key pieces of information.
No. 1: Montavious Waters was the Patriots' most dynamic player, the player who made them go.
No. 2: Allen Jenkins was their best player overall, the player who could win Westover the game.
Scouting reports are useful, but after the game, Rouse admitted his copy might have underestimated how good Jenkins could be.
Westover's 6-foot-4 senior forward scored a game-high 19 points, including three 3-pointers, and the Eagles couldn't shake off the effects of a slow start, falling 54-47 Friday in the second round of the Class AAA playoffs at Savannah State.
"Every coach I talked to said (Jenkins) was their best player," said Rouse, whose squad's season ended at 26-3. "I didn't know he'd be that good. I didn't know he'd be that big either, so I guess we had a bad matchup on him."
That's not to say Josey's Gabriel Robinson didn't do his job on defense. It's just that he was a couple inches shorter and couldn't stop Jenkins from coming up big in the clutch.
After scoring 14 points in the first half, Jenkins' 3-pointer with 2:13 to play extended the Patriots' (25-1) lead to 46-41.
Then with 15 seconds remaining, he rebounded Westover's only missed foul shot of the game and laid it in to give his squad a seven-point lead.
"That last 3-pointer he hit was a big one," Rouse said. "He knew we were coming at him, but he still hit it."
Contrasting the performances of Jenkins and Waters - who managed 12 of his 14 points in the second half - Josey wasn't sinking its shots.
Missing 13 of their first 14 attempts of the game, the Eagles fell behind 17-5 early in the second quarter. Only through the grace of Rashad Glover, who scored 10 of his team-high 15 points in the first half, did they keep pace, ending the half on a 6-0 run to get within two points.
"I really don't know that happened," Glover said. "We just got off to a slow start."
Josey nearly caught up late in the game when Glover hit two free throws to cut the advantage to 43-41. But that's when Jenkins' 3-pointer finished Josey's season.
"We knew he could do all of that," Glover said. "He just went out and made some tough baskets."
The Eagles, who got 12 points from Dominique Archie and 11 from Vonterrio Anthony, couldn't do anything about it.
"I'm kind of mad," Glover said. "We didn't do nothing. We didn't win the region and we didn't win the state. It gives you a little bit of a hurt feeling."
Reach Josh Katzowitz at (706) 823-3216 or firstname.lastname@example.org.
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