By Mike Goodson/Sports Correspondent
To talk to West End High boys basketball coach Clint Brannon following his Patriots’ 51-49 win over Sardis on Tuesday (Jan. 15) in the Etowah County Schools Tournament quarterfinals, you’d think he enjoyed coaching in the annual event at Gadsden State.
“This was a fun game, and our kids did just what they had to do to win. We made our shots when we needed them. I just can’t say enough about our team.”
No. 3 seed West End (10-8) plays Hokes Bluff in the semifinals on Thursday.
The No. 6 seed Lions took a 14-9 lead at the end of the first quarter behind Will Scott’s seven points. Those first eight minutes seemed to set the tempo of the game, but the Patriots gradually clawed their way back and tied the game at 16-16 with 4:58 to go in the first half.
West End out-scored the Lions 19-10 in the second quarter and led 28-24 at halftime.
The third quarter saw the Patriots build a 43-35 lead heading into the final quarter.
Sardis trimmed the lead to 45-43 with 4:30 remaining, however, and a 3-pointer by Will Scott with 4:20 remaining in regulation gave the Lions a brief advantage at 46-45.
Scott, who finished with a game-high 24 points, hit a free throw that tie the game at 49-49 with 1:01 to play.
West End chose to play for the final shot, and that decision paid off when Raymond Chapman scored on a lay-up with eight seconds to go.
Levi Weems paced West End with 12 points, while Chapman added nine.