After a painful four-game losing skid, Westland (15-6) rebounded Tuesday in a 58-49 victory over Franklin Heights. The Cougars look to continue their winning ways tonight at rival Central Crossing (2-18).
Westland took down the Comets 94-69 in their first meeting on Jan. 11, but this team is much different from the one Todd Parker put on the floor earlier this season. The loss of Devan Williamson, due to academic ineligibility, has hurt Westland all across the board. Without Williamson’s ability to stretch the floor, opponents have been able to lock up the paint and force the Cougars to beat them from the outside. Although Cory Beesler is having a tremendous year from beyond the arc, the Cougars just haven’t had the offensive prowess that helped them jump out to a 14-2 start this season.
With a very winnable game tonight, and a favorable tournament draw, the Cougars have a great chance to redeem themselves in the coming weeks. Westland hosts Briggs in the first round of tournament play on Feb. 23 at 7 p.m. If the Cougars were to defeat the Bruins, they would play another home game vs. the winner of Thomas Worthington/Westerville Central. Two wins in tournament play would likely set up the Cougars for another rematch vs. OCC-Central champion Olentangy Liberty, whose one loss came at Westland on Dec. 21.
Westland must not get caught looking ahead in tonight’s game, as the Comets are hungry to secure their first win vs. their cross-town rival since 2010. If the Cougars come out focused and ready to play, there is no reason why they can’t win by double-digits and continue rolling into tournament time.
Written by: Zach Fleer / @YS614