East Webster keep rolling in 2019, sweeps J.Z. George

Staff Writer

A new year has been good to the East Webster Wolverines as the bunch from Cumberland has put together a perfect start since 2019 began.

With a 4-0 Class 2A, Region 2 record and a No. 1 seed on the way, the team still isn’t satisfied a couple of weeks out of the season ending. East Webster can’t be satisfied with some of the teams still left on the schedule and that included J.Z. George on Friday who challenged the Wolverines in the East Webster Christmas Classic a month ago and were back for more.

The Wolverines held a double-digit lead for most of the game and fought off a couple of comeback attempts by the visitors to win their sixth-straight game 77-63 and move to 15-6 for the year.

There were chances for East Webster to put the game away early as it was up 17-3 at one point in the first quarter, but J.Z. George always found a way to get back in it. With a halftime lead of 40-22 cut down to eight points 4 minutes into the third quarter, the Wolverines put the gas pedal down in the fourth.

East Webster scored the first six points of the fourth and eventually went up by 20 points with 3:30 left when head coach Jon Ginn pulled the starters. The rest was gravy for the Wolverines.

“They shoot the ball well and we knew that," East Webster coach Jon Ginn said. "There were a few times where I wasn’t pleased with a couple of guys we left open. I thought midway through the third quarter and beyond that, we did a much better job. We need to come out of the gate better. The first 4 minutes of the third quarter should have been a tone setter for us defensively.”

J.Z. George stayed in the game with its 3-point shot, but couldn’t hit it consistently. The Wolverines, on the other hand, were 10-of-23 (43 percent) from long range and 31-of-59 (53 percent) from the field. It made for a hard night to defend for J.Z. George.

OCH Athlete of the Week Carrin Townsend led the way with 21 points on 8-of-11 shooting and 3-of-4 from 3-point range. Reid Gatlin was 5-of-10 from 3-point range with 15 points, Nash Caldwell had 11 points and Sedrick Taylor had 10 for the well-balanced attack.

Now East Webster turns around and travels to Ackerman Saturday morning to play Louisville in the Mid-Mississippi Challenge at 10:15 a.m.. It’s a rematch of the Christmas Classic Championship back during December when Louisville won a 75-62 decision.

“I think these guys are keyed up to play (Louisville) because they know that’s our last loss," Ginn said. "I told them in the locker room that our group has matured in handling pressure since the last time we played them and (Saturday) is a good test for us. Louisville is a really good 4A team that’s very athletic. If we can compete with them and handle ourselves, I think we’re on the right track.”

Girls Game
East Webster 46,
J.Z. George 14

Things started off murky for the Lady Wolverines on Friday night as they fell behind 7-0 to JZ George, then coach Ginn called for timeout.

“We talk all the time that we want to play to our standards," Ginn said. "It’s not about the other team. We’re trying to meet our standards. I told them that we weren’t playing to our standards. The girls are mature and they went back and executed defensively like they should after that.”

The Lady Wolverines outscored J.Z. George 46-7 for the rest of the game, including allowing just four points in the second half as they got back on track with a win. It comes after a two-point defeat to Northside on the road earlier in the week and they improved their record to 14-7 for the year.

After that 7-0 deficit, East Webster scored nine points in a row and led 9-8 at the end of the first quarter. That led to a 23-1 run overall in the first half and lead 25-12 at halftime. The Lady Wolverines led 40-14 after three quarters and the clock ran in the fourth.

The scoring was spread around for East Webster, which had a team-high nine points from Whitney Winter, while 10 total players put points on the board for the team. It was a great chance for Ginn to see his younger players in action.

“We got to play a lot of girls and got to play a lot of girls a lot of minutes," Ginn said. "They’re working hard after we stumbled against Northside. None of them felt like we played to the level we should be playing so we wanted to come back and play to our standard.”

The opportunity to rest the starters most of the second half was a good thing for the Lady Wolverines as they have a short turnaround to Saturday morning. They open up the Mid-Mississippi Challenge in Ackerman as they play the host team Choctaw County at 9 a.m. looking for their 15th win of the season.