Two minutes into Thursday night’s contest between Western Tech and New Town, the Wolverines’ Andre Jackson canned a runner to put his squad up 4-2. That bucket would serve as Western Tech’s final lead of the evening.
After that shot, the Titans outscored Western Tech 33-7 over the final 14 minutes of the first half—a prolonged run that included two separate 11-0 spurts—on the way to a dominating, 57-40 road victory.
Junior forward Jerrod Lemon led New Town (14-4) with 14 points and senior Devonte Coleman chipped in with ten as the Titans poured in buckets, particularly in the first half, with a balanced offensive attack that saw ten players factor into the scoring on the night.
In addition to that overall balance, New Town shared the ball very well. Of the Titans 16 first half field goals, ten came off of assists.
“When everyone’s getting involved, you can’t stop us,” said senior point guard Tavon Geter, who finished with nine points and four assists. “We have arguably the four best guards, big men getting involved getting dirty buckets. When we stay together as a team and don’t let our head get out of it—it’s a good thing.”
Added Titans head coach Mike Salapata, “I was very pleased, outside of a two minute stretch after getting up big in the first quarter…outside of that, good half of basketball. I couldn’t ask for any more.”
Led by Jackson, who finished with 15 points and 16 boards, Western Tech (11-7) finally seemed to get back on track after the break, netting more points (14) in the third quarter than it tallied in the first two frames combined.
It was in that first half that, while struggling to defend its own basket, Western Tech also had a tough time finding high percentage shots on the offensive end. After converting only three field goals in the first quarter, they were held without a made shot from the field in the second frame, one in which they were outscored 22-5—with all five points coming via the foul line.
“In terms of clean looks [at the basket] I feel like the whole first half it was a matter of, for some reason we were scared of the names and players of New Town,” Western Tech coach Mike Slepesky said. “I don’t understand what it was, but I think it was a matter of heart, in terms of not trying to attack, not really forcing the issue against them.”
Slepesky was more satisfied with his squad’s effort out of the halftime break. The Wolverines outscored New Town 29-22 in the second half, however, the damage done in the first 16 minutes was simply too much to overcome.
Western Tech will look to rebound when they take on Dundalk at home, Wednesday night at 6:30 in its final regular season game.
The Titans return home tomorrow (Friday) against Lansdowne at 7 p.m.