Westbrook Brothers Power Douglass to 53-44 State Semifinal Victory Over Water Valley
AUSTIN -- Bryce started it. Reed finished it.
Maybe they didn't plan it like that, but the Westbrook brothers each had a half of domination. Their combined 36 points propelled Douglass to a 53-44 Class A Division II state semifinal victory over Water Valley on Friday night at the Frank Erwin Center.
Douglass (30-6) plays Roxton (29-4) in Saturday's 7 p.m. Class A Division II state championship at the Erwin Center. The Texas Association of Basketball Coaches ranked Roxton and Douglass No. 1 and No. 2, respectively, in the preseason. The teams finished the regular season ranked first and ninth.
Bryce Westbrook, a 6-foot-3 junior forward, had nine points and five rebounds by halftime to help the Indians to a 21-15 lead at the break after a low-scoring first half. Reed Westbrook made 5 of 6 second-half field-goal attempts, scoring 13 points in the final two quarters. The 6-foot-1 senior guard scored 12 in the third quarter as Douglass' lead grew from six points to 15, 40-25, entering the fourth.
"They've done it all year. They've done it every year they've played with us," said Douglass coach Mark Leuschner. "I count on them. Our team counts on them. Our role players stepped up tonight. Took care of the ball, got the ball to our scorers, and played good defense."
Bryce finished 7-for-11 with a game-high 20 points and eight rebounds. Reed had 16 points, seven rebounds, and four assists. Senior center Jake Raines had seven points and six rebounds off the bench. Junior guard Matthew Wallace scored seven points.
Douglass shut down Water Valley's offense, which entered the game averaging 61.8 points per game in the playoffs. Water Valley shot 33.0 percent from the field and 24.0 percent from three-point range.
"We've really hung our hat this year on our halfcourt defense," Leuschner said. "Good players are gonna make shots every now and then, but we were determined not to let them have easy shots, and definitely not second shots. Our guys did that tonight."
The defense combined with a slight rebounding edge to suggest that Douglass had the strength advantage, which both coaches acknowledged.
Water Valley coach Andy Copley joked that it's hard to believe Douglass isn't a football-playing school.
"I think those kids could probably play the other game also," he said.
Brock Demere led Water Valley with 13 points and 10 rebounds. Teammate Trae Hannon added 11 points. Sterling Marschall had nine points and Connor Copley had seven points, six rebounds, three assists, and three steals.
Water Valley's shooting woes did not extend to Douglass' end of the floor. The Indians shot 51.4 percent, including 53.8 percent (7-for-13) from three-point range.
Douglass led 9-8 after one quarter thanks to six Bryce Westbrook points. Douglass closed the first half with a 6-2 run for a 21-15 halftime lead.
Douglass won the third 19-10 behind Reed Westbrook's huge quarter, which included a pair of three-pointers and an assist that led to a Bryce Westbrook trey. The Tribe's lead reached 18 points, 40-22, with 1:07 left in the period on a Reed Westbrook layup.
Water Valley twice cut the lead to 10 points in the first six minutes of the fourth, but didn't get the deficit to single digits until Demere's three-pointer with three seconds left in the game.
Saturday's title game is the first in Douglass' history. Roxton is in its third consecutive 1A D-II state tournament after losing in the semifinals each of the last two seasons. Roxton also lost the 1963 Class B championship to Huntington.
Class A Division II
Douglass 53, Water Valley 44
Frank Erwin Center, Austin
Douglass -- 9 12 19 13 -- 53
Water Valley -- 8 7 10 19 -- 44
Douglass (30-6) -- Bryce Westbrook 20, Reed Westbrook 16, Jake Raines 7, Matthew Wallace 7, Jason Hobson 3.
Water Valley (33-3) -- Brock Demere 13, Trae Hannon 11, Sterling Marschall 9, Connor Copley 7, Kellan Kirkland 4.