High School Basketball

Cougars lose buzzer-beater vs. Westlake

by Doug Gorman

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Photo by Jeffrey Leo

Newnan center Immanuel Griggs follows through with a dunk in the first half of Friday's Region 3-AAAAAA game against Westlake.

The Newnan Cougars basketball team nearly did something nobody else from the Georgia has managed to do all season-knock off Westlake.

In the end, their Region 3-AAAAAA foe managed to keep its unbeaten streak against teams from the Peach State alive thanks to a last second, buzzer-beating 62-60 victory over Cougars.

Westlake's only loss this season came against Lincoln High School out of Brooklyn, N.Y., during a holiday tournament in North Carolina.

The loss dropped Newnan to 14-3 and 2-1 in Region 3-AAAAAA action, while Westlake kept control of the region with a 17-1 overall record and a 4-0 mark in league play.

Dominic Joseph was the hero for the Lions getting the ball in the paint and laying it off the glass as the horn sounded to keep the game from going into overtime.

Just seconds earlier, Newnan's Doniel Dean hit a pair of free throws to tie the game at 60-all.

Dean was one of the catalyst for the Cougars in the second half, scoring all but one of his team-high 23 points after halftime.

Dean, who picked up a technical foul before the break, hit a clutch 3-pointer that trimmed Westlake's lead to 61-58 in the closing minutes before tying the game at the free-throw line.

But Westlake managed to take the ball end-to-end on its final possession, getting the ball into Joseph for the game winner..

Diamond Jones finished the game with 10 points for Newnan.

Raymond Saunder had the hot hand early for Westlake, scoring 19 points in the first half and finishing with 23 team. Teammate Tyler Williams finished with 20.

Newnan and Westlake battled through seven lead changes in the first half before the Lions finally pulled out to a 34-26 lead at the break.

The Cougars went into upset mode early, building an 8-0 lead behind the play of Jones and Tonaris Portress who early baskets.

Two dunks by Immanuel Griggs and Jannson Williams helped Newnan kept the first-quarter momentum.

Kameron Grant's 3-point shot at the end of the first quarter, gave Newnan a 19-16 lead at the end of the first quarter and was the game's sixth lead change.

Westlake took its first lead of the game when Clavon Groom hit a shot early in the second quarter to help the Lions go out front 20-19 Williams answered later in the second quarter with a pair of free throws in what turned out to be the Cougars final lead of the game when they went up 22-20.

Westlake went ahead front for good when Saunder hit a 3-point shot to give Westlake a 25-22 lead.

However after the Lions went out from with their largest lead of the contest at 34-26 st the break, Newnan clawed back with some stellar defense.

Williams drew two charging calls in the second half and the Cougars also forced several turnovers down the stretch that twice cut into a seven point lead.

The Cougars also got support from Jake Kneidel in the second half when the senior game off the bench and hit a 3-point shot and also finished with seven points WESTLAKE 68, NEWNAN 53 (girls): The Lady Cougars dropped their second Region 3-AAAAA game in a row Friday.

With the victory, the Lady Lions improved their record to 14-4 overall and 3-1 in region action. The Lady Cougars fell to 5-13 and 2-1.

Unlike last Friday night when Newnan hit a buzzer beater to knock off East Coweta, there wasn't any last second heroics against the Lady Lions.

Westlake caught fire the second quarter ,building a 41-23 lead at the half and was never challenged again Westlake's Anriel Howard turned in a dominating performance, scoring most of her baskets inside the paint and hitting easy shots off the glass en route to a 32-point performance.

Metryes Geter led Newnan with 20. Makaila Horsley hit four 3-pointers and finished with 12.

The first quarter of Friday nights game between the Lady Cougars and the Lady Wildcats can only be described as a series of runs and spurts.

After falling behind 10-0 to start the game, the Lady Cougars closed out the first quarter with a 17-1 spurt and led 17-11 heading into the second quarter.

The Lady Cougars rallied when Horsley connected on back-to-back 3-point shots.

Her second trey cut the Westlake lead to 10-8.

Geter and Destani Parks also hit 3-pointers in first half for the Lady Cougars.

Newnan took its first lead of the game when Chaycie Goggins hit a shot to give the Lady Cougars a 12-10 lead and they stayed out front the rest of the first quarter eventually jumping out to the six point lead.

Westlake didn't waste anytime retaking the momentum for good. Lia Thomas' basket early in the second quarter gave her team an 18-11 lead and they never trailed again.

The Lady Lions pushed the lead out to 30-17 and used good defense to keep the Lady Cougars off the scoreboard for nearly five minutes to open the second quarter.

Newnan didn't score again until Shy Moreland hit two free throws to cut the lead to 30-19.

Parks had the only field goal of the second quarter for the Lady Cougars as Westlake pushed the margin to 41-23. Westlake led 60-35 at the end of the third quarter.

LADY LIONS 68, LADY COUGARS 51

WESTLAKE 11 30 19 8—68

NEWNAN 17 6 12 16—51

WESTLAKE—Howard 32, Boykin 8, Scott 2, Thomas 6, Brown 10, Smith 6, Favors 4

NEWNAN—Baker 4, Colton 1, Coggins 4, Horsley 12, Geter 20, Parks 6, Moreland 2

LIONS 62, COUGARS 60

WESTLAKE 16 18 10 18 — 62

NEWNAN 19 7 12 22 — 60

Westlake—Williams 20, Saunders 23, Heard 4, Banks 7, Jones 2, Joseph 3

NEWNAN—Grant 3, Griggs 7, Jones 10, Kneidel 7, Dean 23, Williams 8 Portress 2



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