West Jessamine’s struggles have continued into district play as the Colts fell in their district opener 73-58 to Mercer County on Monday night.
Strong performances off the bench by Cameron Watts and Chase Fain couldn’t slow down the Titans’ hot shooting.
Mercer’s hot shooting early, combined with West’s sluggish start, put the Colts behind 22-4 five minutes into the game. Mercer hit eight of its first 12 shots, including four three-pointers. West, meanwhile, was struggling to put up shots. It took just five shots in the same amount of time, with one finding the basket. The Colts committed six turnovers during the run.
West was down 26-10 at the end of the first quarter.
Fain broke out in the second quarter for the Colts, scoring seven of the team’s 16 points, but the Titans carried a 12-point lead into the intermission.
A 9-0 run by Mercer to start the second half made the lead 21, the largest lead of the night. A three-pointer by Watts ended the run; he finished the night with 10 points. His trey accounted for half of the Colts’ points in the third quarter. West had has many turnovers as they had points in the third quarter, six.
West was able to go on a run in the fourth quarter, cutting the lead from 19 down to eight. Fain scored five points during the 18-7 run. He had a team-high 13 points for West.
With the lead down to as few as eight with 2:14 to go, the Colts began fouling, but it would be moot as the Titans hit 8-of-12 free-throw attempts to hang on for the win.
Dylan Pohl had a double-double with 10 points and 12 rebounds. Brandon Hager had 12 points and was 6-of-7 shooting.
The Colts bench accounted for half of its 58 points, with 29.
West is at home again Friday as it hosts East Jessamine at 7:45 p.m. looking for its first district win. On Tuesday the Colts will travel to Somerset at 7:30 p.m.
Lincoln County 44
The Colts won a rematch against Lincoln County last Thursday, beating the Patriots 54-44.
Dylan Pohl and Sean Donaldson each had 12 points and seven rebounds for West, avenging a 54-50 loss to Lincoln earlier this year.
Brandon Hager finished the night with 11 points, but he was the one that got West off to a strong start. Hager knocked down two baskets in the first minute, giving West an early lead. From there, everyone else started to chip in. Donaldson dropped in a bucket, and Chase Fain cleaned up a missed three-pointer for two points.
The Patriots kept hanging around and even tied the game early in the second quarter, but West put together a 16-0 run to go ahead 25-9. Pohl knocked down a three-pointer to start the run and dished to Donaldson on the next possession to keep it going. Daulton Peters came off the bench to bury two three-pointers for West and force the Pats to call a timeout as the 9-9 game was suddenly 20-9.
Point guard David Martin did a supreme job spreading the ball around during the run. He dished out three assists and added on two points of his own.
West shot 54 percent in the second quarter, making six of 11 shots. The hot shooting put the Colts ahead 25-16 at the break.
The Colts were able to maintain a comfortable lead throughout the third quarter and withstood a run by Lincoln that drew the Pats within four points. Hager came through knocking down a two-pointer to push the lead back to six with two minutes to go in the third. Austin Dunn knocked down a shot to push the lead to eight, and West defense was able to keep Lincoln off the board till the end of the quarter.
With the difference in score still in single digits with 2:30 to go in the game, Lincoln started fouling, forcing West to protect its lead at the foul line. The lead only expanded for the Colts; they knocked down 7-of-11 free-throw attempts in the fourth quarter and outlasted Lincoln.
Dunn and Peters each had six points off the bench for West,;Fain had four. Martin had four assists, five rebounds and two points.
The Colts shot exactly 50 percent on the night and 13-for-20 from the stripe. They also beat Lincoln on the boards 34-22. Good shooting and rebounding helped make up for the 22 turnovers West committed.
Rowan County 52
West Jessamine was pillaged and plundered by the Rowan County Vikings last Wednesday, suffering its worse loss of the season. The Colts were scourged 52-38.
The Colts were able to get off to a nice start as David Martin kicked things off by nailing a three-pointer on West’s second possession of the game. Dylan Pohl made it a 5-0 game with a layup on the next trip downcourt. West never trailed in the first period and led by as many as six before back-to-back baskets by Rowan made it a one-point game at the first buzzer.
The Vikings took their first lead of the game almost immediately at the start of the second quarter to go up 16-15. West responded with a basket by Pohl to retake the lead, 17-16. And then West shut down. They didn’t score for the next six minutes and 50 seconds. The Colts missed seven shots and turned the ball over three times.
By halftime, West was lucky to only be down 25-17 as Rowan missed five shots, two of which were three-pointers.
The rough second quarter seemed to hang with the Colts in the third. Sean Donaldson scored six of West’s first eight points in the period, but the defense couldn’t get stops. Donaldson finished with 12 points in the period, but West was still down 40-31.
The fourth quarter was much like the second. West missed its first seven shots from the field, and Rowan’s nine-point lead grew to 20. The Colts’ first bucket of the fourth quarter came with 1:10 left in the game. Tyler Adams made a two-point field goal. Jeff Ziemann followed with e three-pointer, and Chase Fain scored with about 17 seconds remaining. West was 3-for-10 from the field in the fourth quarter.
Donaldson scored a team-high 16 points and was a perfect 7-for-7 from the field and 2-for-2 from the free-throw line. He also had five rebounds.