Westbrook flattens Brindlee Mountain in regional semifinals

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By Gene Stanley/Sports Correspondent

Monday’s Class 3A Northeast Regional Tournament boys basketball game between Westbrook Christian and Brindlee Mountain was essentially over by the time it began.

The Warriors (22-7) scored the first six points en route to a 76-45 victory at Jacksonville State.

“I was really pleased with our start,” Westbrook coach Seth Ford said. “Our defense started us out right and gave us some good energy. We put it in play and took care of business early.”

The first quarter ended with the Warriors ahead, 17-11, but it was only that close because of a couple of 3-point baskets made by the Lions. By halftime, the lead was 36-18.

“We like to use a lot of players anyway and have good depth, but this was a good game for us,” Ford said. “We had scouted some Brindlee Mountain games, and I don’t think we caught them on their best night.”

Some of that might have to do with experience. This is Westbrook’s third straight regional and fourth overall. Meanwhile, the Lions were making their first appearance.

Ford got to use his bench liberally, with 13 players getting court time. Westbrook held a 21-14 edge in bench scoring. 

Chandler Richards led the Warriors with 20 points, five rebounds, two assists and two steals. He connected on 6-of-8 free throws.

“Some nights you have it, some you don’t,” Richards said. “I didn’t feel like I was lining up right, but they went in.”

Ford added, “Free throws make the difference in a lot of playoff games. Our guys were big tonight, getting to shoot 24 – and bigger by making 17 of them.”

Kyle Edwards scored 13 points, hitting 5-of-5 from the charity stripe. He also had three steals and three assists.

Overall, the Warriors had 10 steals, compared to only two for the Lions.

Kyle Leonard sank 3-of-4 3-pointers to enjoy a 14-point game. 

Brindlee Mountain was led by the 11 points of Dylan Sanderson.

Westbrook faces off against Piedmont on Thursday at 3 p.m., for the regional crown. The Bulldogs beat Plainview, 65-48, in the other semifinal.

“I expect a good game because I think we’re very similar to Piedmont,” Ford said. “Both teams like to run and both can hit the 3. We’ve played similar schedules, with several common opponents. Whichever team comes in hungriest should win.”

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