After dropping a 67-65 decision in overtime at Lyon County last Tuesday night, Webster County responded with back-to-back victories over out-of-region opponents Calloway County and McLean County to improve its record to 6-2 on the year.
The Trojans had a game against Livingston Central in Smithland on Tuesday night, but the conclusion of that game was after press time. Webster will participate in the Limestone Bank Christmas Classic at Butler County this week as the Trojans are scheduled to play Franklin-Simpson on Thursday afternoon and Logan County on Friday afternoon.
LYON COUNTY 67,WEBSTER COUNTY 65 OT
Webster County led 44-30 going into the fourth quarter against Lyon County, but the Lyons outscored the Trojans 25-11 in the period to force overtime, where they ultimately prevailed with a 67-65 victory in Eddyville.
Seventh grade sensation Travis Perry led the Lyons to victory by scoring 29 points. Perry hit a 3-pointer with 11 seconds left in regulation to force overtime, and his two free throws at the end of the overtime put Lyon in front for good after Webster erased a 65-61 deficit with under a minute remaining.
Jackson Shoulders added 22 points while Gabe Defew had 10 for the Lyons, who recorded their first victory over Webster County since March 4, 2009 in the Second Region Tournament.
Webster County was led in the loss by Hunter McNaughton with 18 points while Malachi Douglas scored 13. Aden Winn tallied 12 on a perfect 4-for-4 from the charity stripe, and Tyler Camplin had eight points.
Drew Skinner and Destin Allen had six points apiece, and Allen led the Trojans in rebounding with seven boards for the night. Zaine Geary rounded out the Webster scoring with a basket.
The Trojans had a chance to win at both the end of regulation and overtime but were unable to capitalize on either opportunity.
WEBSTER COUNTY 62,CALLOWAY COUNTY 57
On Tuesday night Webster County squandered a 16-point second-half lead against Lyon County as the Lyons came storming back for a 67-65 overtime win in Eddyville.
The Trojans continued to struggle in the first half of Thursday night’s game at Calloway County as the Lakers led 32-23 at halftime, but Webster County was able to rally in the fourth quarter for a 62-57 victory.
“I’m proud of the guys, especially after how we played the other night,” Webster County coach Jon Newton said. “We had control of Lyon County for three quarters, and then we lost the way we did. We talked about some things at halftime as far as getting the ball into the heart of the defense and diving more. It wasn’t a pretty win, but I thought we learned a lot and grew as a team.”
“It’s really good that we can (move on from Lyon),” Trojan senior Malachi Douglas said. “This win was just really good for us and our coaches. It was just an all-around good team win.”
Douglas was the main reason for the Trojans’ surge in the second half. With foul trouble in the first half limiting him to just two points, Douglas came out of the locker room to score 16 out of his 18 points in the second half while knocking down four 3-pointers.
“We needed a strong show out for the whole team,” Douglas said. “I was just helping lead and doing my part.”
“That’s the growth of Malachi,” Newton said. “He wouldn’t have done that last year or even as a sophomore. He’s kind of taken that leadership role this year and taken it serious. He wants to be looked upon from his teammates as the go-to-guy. It says a lot about him to put that first half behind him and play well when we needed him to.”
Webster County continued to battle back during the second half before a three-point play by Destin Allen at the 6:22 mark of the fourth quarter gave the Trojans a 47-45 advantage and their first lead of the night. Allen has stepped up into a starter’s role early in the season for Webster due to Aden Winn transitioning in from football, and the sophomore came through in the clutch for the Trojans against the Lakers.
“Destin has done a really good job growing from his first game to this game,” Newton said. “He’s just pretty steady. He’s consistent. There’s nights where you look and he doesn’t really ‘wow’ you but then you go back and do the stat line and he’s got four or five points, six rebounds, three steals ... he leaves his imprint on a game. (Thursday night) he was just really steady and reading the passing lines on the back, as well as finishing two big and-ones for us.”
The two sides swapped baskets for the next few minutes after Allen’s three-point play before a trifecta by Douglas with 2:53 left put Webster County in front for good and allowed the Trojans to escape Murray with the win.
Tyler Camplin led the Trojans with 23 points, and the junior guard helped his team weather the storm when Douglas was on the bench in the first half.
“I thought TC was really consistent for us all throughout the night,” Newton said. “He’s kind of been struggling with his shot and his confidence has been down a little bit. Hopefully (Thursday night) gets his confidence back and that carries over into the holiday break.”
Allen finished with 12 points on the night while Winn, Hunter McNaughton, and Drew Skinner each had three.
Calloway County was led in the loss by Chandler Steele with a double-double of 16 points and 11 rebounds. Taylor Johnson tallied 10 off the bench for the Lakers, who dropped their fifth straight game.
WEBSTER COUNTY 61,MCLEAN COUNTY 50
Webster County coach Jon Newton knew that his team had the potential to be one of the better rebounding teams in the area going into the season, but he did not fully see that on display until Saturday night when his team hosted neighboring rival McLean County.
The Trojans outrebounded the Cougars 29-15 for the night, and Webster had three players register at least seven rebounds in a 61-50 victory.
“It was actually a nice surprise because that’s one thing that we felt good about coming into this season,” Newton said. “We thought we were going to have one of our better rebounding teams, and we just hadn’t done it up until this point. I thought it was the difference in the first half. Some offensive rebounds gave us some baskets, and Malachi (Douglas) had some defensive rebounds that led to some transition baskets.”
See Trojans/Page B3
Douglas was held to just nine points for the night — well below his average of 18.7 points per game. But the senior grabbed a game-high nine rebounds and contributed in other ways to help the Trojans record their 14th straight victory over the Cougars.
“Malachi used to be it was all or nothing,” Newton said. “You were either going to get points or you were going to get nothing out of him. I think that is the maturity and the senior leadership that he is bringing. He’s a lot more consistent in practice, and he realizes that he can do more on the court than just scoring.”
Tyler Camplin led the Trojans in scoring with 18 points while Hunter McNaughton had 15 points and seven rebounds. McNaughton helped stake the Trojans out to an early lead in the first quarter as he scored Webster’s first seven points and had eight of the Trojans’ 14 at the end of the frame.
“Most teams focus in on Malachi and (Camplin),” Newton said. “That’s going to be the gameplan for the opponents. I don’t want to say Hunter is a third option, but he’s a very nice third option. Teams are going to leave him open or try to ignore him, and we feel good about that. We feel like he can score anywhere on the court.”
Destin Allen added 11 points and seven rebounds for the Trojans as he scored the Trojans’ other six points during the first quarter. Aden Winn scored four points, and Drew Skinner and Zaine Geary each had a basket for the Trojans.
McLean County was led in the loss by Brady Dame with 15 points and five rebounds. Logan Patterson added 12 points for the Cougars, who outscored the Trojans 20-11 in the final quarter but could never whittle the deficit back down to single digits.