GARY | Before the game, Century coach Rodney Williams talked about finishing.
“This is a very big game for the Century program,” Williams said. “We are learning how to finish games. We have become a better team every game. Now we need to understand what it takes to take that next step as a winning program.”
But you have to lead to be able to finish, and that was something Century couldn’t do last night.
No. 10 West Side (9-5) used a pair of early 7-0 runs in the first quarter to build a double-digit lead. West Side defeated Century 64-53 in nonconference action for their fourth straight win.
The loss halted Century’s three game win streak and left them with a record of 7-6.
Arnold Wilson led West Side with 21 points. Wilson nailed three jumpers from the left side during the first quarter runs, and followed that up with three more in the second.
It was 20-11 at the end of the first. Louis Brown had six for Century, and Mykel Mayes had five.
Moving the ball on offense was key to Century’s game plan. But West Side’s stifling defense took away the passing lanes and forced Century outside.
“We needed to be able to pass inside,” Williams said. “We needed to move the ball to the open man for the best shot, but the lanes were clogged.”
West Side coach Murray Richards knew his Cougars would have to do well at the charity stripe.
“On the road, you have to make free throws to win the game,” Richards said. “You have to be able to take advantage of what they give you.”
They shot 10 of 15 from the line, including all six in the final quarter.
Rebounding was also key for West Side. They had a 37-29 board advantage for the game.
“The battle of the boards played a huge role,” Richards said. ““We have been rebounding much better the last few games, and we needed it tonight.”