Westlake sweeps Newnan in return

By TOMMY CAMP tommy@newnan.com With five players in double figures, the Westlake Lions bounced back from their dramatic loss at East Coweta Tuesday to beat the Newnan Cougars in the Max Bass Athletic Center Friday night, 64-56. It was the fifth straight loss for the Cougars who dropped to 2-12 overall and 0-7 in Region 2-AAAAA.
The Lady Cougars also lost their game, falling 53-27 to the region leading Lady Lions. "We just can't seem to get over the hump," said Cougar head coach Rod Ladd. "We'll play well for a while, but then it's always a short stretch that comes back to bite us." A two-minute span in the middle of the third quarter was especially hurtful Friday. Newnan scored the first nine points of the third quarter, seven from Chris Hudson off the bench, to take a 32-26 lead. Westlake answered, however, with a 10-0 run in mid-period to forge ahead 36-32 with 2:13 left in the quarter. The Cougars never recovered. Shaq Warner's basket got Newnan back to within two at 36-34, but that was as close as the Cougars would get. "And we didn't help ourselves any at the free throw line," Ladd said. Westlake outscored Newnan 21-10 at the line which was the ultimate difference in the game. The Lions had 37 free throw attempts and Newnan had 22. Westlake led at the end of the first quarter, 15-12, at halftime, 26-23 and after three periods, 44-37. Tray Matthews led the Cougars in scoring with 15 points while Hudson scored a season high 11. The Cougars failed to hit a single three-pointer for the first time this year. Keenan Williams led Westlake (6-5, 3-4) with 13 while Mitch McKargan had 12, Cameron Carter and Tony Bagtas 11 each and Myles Mann 10. Westlake had only beaten the Cougars by one point, 59-58, when the two teams played in Atlanta on Dec. 7. It was another frustrating night for the Newnan girls as well. "We just couldn't ever get anything going on offense," said Lady Cougar head man LaVarrett Pearson after the Newnan girls suffered their second straight loss and fell to 7-8 overall and 3-4 in the region. "I thought we played pretty well on defense, but we just couldn't score." The Newnan girls matched their season low with only 12 points in the first half. Even so, down 24-12, Pearson was still was optimistic. "I felt like we were still in the game," he said. "We just needed to get our offense going, but we were never able to do it. "They came out at the beginning of the second half and scored a couple of baskets in transition and took control of the game from that point." It didn't help any that the Newnan girls went almost 13 minutes, from early in the second quarter to late in the third, without a field goal. They managed 10 free throws to keep it respectable during that stretch. Westlake led 39-21 after three quarters. The Lady Cougars trailed 42-27 with just over five minutes to play before Westlake scored the game's final 11 to win going away. Katia Roberts led the Lady Cougars with eight points. Aisha Turner paced Westlake (11-3, 7-0) with 17. The Lady Lions improved to 11-3 and 7-0 with the victory.


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