West Oktibbeha beats rival East at home
By JOEL COLEMAN
MABEN â€“ About this time a year ago, the East Oktibbeha boys basketball team traveled to Maben and pulled out an upset win over West Oktibbeha.
The Timberwolves made sure history didn't repeat itself Saturday night.
West Oktibbeha controlled things from the opening tip and had five players score in double figures to cruise to a 92-50 win over its county rival.
"We played as a team," said West Oktibbeha head coach Danny Crawford. "We played together and played as a unit. We finally jelled."
Kendrin Yates and Eddie Johnson each scored 15 points to lead the Timberwolves, who improved to 7-2 overall this season.
Von Smith and Evrick Jones each scored 14 for West Oktibbeha.
East Oktibbeha was paced by Devontae Lucious' 21 points and Chris Harris' 11-point effort.
The Titans fell to 3-7.
In defeat, East Oktibbeha head coach Barnett Robinson gave credit to West Oktibbeha.
"Our hats are off to them," said Robinson. "They played really good ball and executed. They did all the small things that it takes to win a ballgame.
"We didn't do what we're supposed to be doing. We had turnovers and missed easy layups and didn't do what we needed to do."
West Oktibbeha never trailed in the contest.
Smith hit a pair of 3-pointers in the game's first minute of play to give the Timberwolves an early 6-0 lead and West Oktibbeha never looked back.
Dantaveous Crawford, who finished with 12 points, kept the momentum on the Timberwolves' side throughout the game, putting together his own personal highlight reel with four dunks.
"(Dunking) is an amazing feeling," said Dantaveous Crawford. "You get everybody in the stands cheering and giving your team motivation. It's just great."
When Dantaveous Crawford and his teammates weren't electrifying their fan base with offense, West Oktibbeha was shutting down East Oktibbeha defensively.
It was that defensive effort that pleased Coach Crawford the most.
"We played a really good, tough zone," said Crawford. "Everybody worked together. Everybody talked.
"We feel like if we can keep any high school team to less than 60 points, we like our chances of winning. This team is going to play defense. If we don't do anything else, we're going to play defense."
West Oktibbeha's defense held East Oktibbeha to just 21 first-half points as the Timberwolves took a 43-21 lead into the intermission.
West Oktibbeha then stretched their advantage to 66-35 by the end of the third quarter in heading to the win.
It was a victory Dantaveous Crawford was proud to capture, especially with last year's loss to the Titans still in his memory.
"It was good for them to beat us last year, but we weren't going to let that happen this year," said Dantaveous Crawford.
East Oktibbeha 55,
West Oktibbeha 47
MABEN â€“ Quanisha Doss posted a double-double with game highs of 34 points and 18 rebounds to lead East Oktibbeha over West Oktibbeha.
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Alexis Henderson and Savannah Blair each scored seven points for the Lady Titans, while Lydia Stevenson scored six with 17 rebounds as East Oktibbeha improved to 3-6.
Lady Titans head coach Pam Roberts was pleased with the play of her entire squad.
"They stepped up," said Roberts. "We told them that they need to play with this same intensity every game and that they need to stay at this level and not go back."
Roberts also praised the rebounding efforts of Doss and Stevenson.
"We've got to step it up and get everybody rebounding like that," said Roberts. "We want everybody shooting and rebounding and spreading points around so we can boost our efforts anytime we're on the floor."
West Oktibbeha was led in the game by Jaslyne Bedford's 12 points.
Bedford completed her own double-double with 12 rebounds.
Victoria Hudson scored 10 points for the Lady Timberwolves.
West Oktibbeha fell to 5-4.