Scoring the first 14 points of the second quarter, the West Orange-Stark Mustangs put away the Coldspring Trojans 75-61 in the Class 3A Region III bidistrict playoffs at Lee College Monday night.
Leading 16-13 at the end of the first period, the Mustangs found the hot hand early in the second period, increasing the margin to 30-13.
The Trojans, the fourth-place team out of District 22-3A, kept battling the Mustangs (26-8) tooth-and-nail the rest of the way, getting as close as 11 points in the fourth quarter but WO-S persevered down the backstretch to earn the win.
WO-S will face either LaMarque or Houston Washington in the area round later this week.
“The second quarter was huge for us,” said Mustang coach Jason Wilkins. “Coldspring was hanging right there with us but we turned up the intensity and were able to grab the win. Offensively, we moved the ball around well. Defensively, we’ve got to play better because we gave up some easy shots and I thought we got too comfortable. Give Coldspring credit, they battled hard all the way through.”
Mustang post Ty Thompson was a thorn in the side for the Trojans all night.
Thompson finished with a massive double-double, scoring a game-high 18 points and snagging a game-high 15 rebounds.
“Ty Thompson has been playing huge for us, especially the last couple games,” said Wilkins. “It seemed like he got every board tonight.”
Thompson had plenty of help from his teammates.
Laquarious Paige chimed in with 13 points and dished off eight assists. Chase Rutledge contributed 12 points.
What really aided the Mustangs was the way they controlled the boards as they notched 41 rebounds while the Trojans only mustered 22.
Deionte Thompson tallied eight points and grabbed six rebounds for the Mustangs. Tre Spencer came off the bench and contributed eight points while Tavin Terrell and Corey Carcisse collected five rebounds apiece.
“It was a solid team effort all the way around,” said Wilkins. “It’s good to get this first one under our belts. It’s just going to keep getting tougher and tougher and that’s what the playoffs are all about.”
Quan Terry paced three Trojans in double figures as he had a team-high 17 points and a team-high five boards.
Guards Trey Cole and Douglas Johnson scored 12 points apiece while Ed Hayes had seen points and five rebounds.
Coldspring stayed in the hunt by forcing WO-S into 24 turnovers. However, the Trojans had 20 of their own.
The Trojans only went 7-of-18 from the free-throw line while the Mustangs converted 12-of-17.
Rutledge and Ty Thompson combined for nine first-quarter points while Johnson had five for the Trojans.
Paige ignited the second-quarter surge with eight points and he did it in style with a pair of dunks. Spencer tallied six quick points off the bench in the period to aid the cause and a Ty Thompson putback stretched the lead to 30-13.
Coldspring kept pushing and outscored the Mustangs the rest of the period, thanks to seven points by Terry, to trail 42-26 at intermission.
The Trojans outscored the Mustangs 17-16 in the third period but Rutledge and Ty Thompson teamed up for nine more points in the quarter to make it 58-43 at the end of three.
The Trojans outpointed WO-S 18-17 in the last period but couldn’t stop Ty Thompson inside the paint late as he muscled his way to six big points near the basket.