TRAVERSE CITY — Traverse City West seemed to get a jolt of confidence and momentum all at once.
A victory over your biggest rival can do that.
Holding Traverse City Central to one point in the last four minutes, West’s boys basketball team notched a much-needed win, 43-36, on Thursday in front of an inspired crowd at West High School.
“It’s a good win for us here at home. We needed it,” said West junior guard Alex Scott. “We’re a really young team with a new coach and it’s really coming together right now. A win like this is going to start a winning streak. We’re going to get it going. We’re going to end the year on a pretty good run and we’re all feeling that right now. We have the utmost confidence right now that it’s going to carry through to the rest of the year.”
Scott led the Titans (3-7, 2-2 Big North) on the offensive end with 14 points, but it was West’s defense that proved to be the difference in a contest where the margin was just two points with four minutes remaining.
“We knew we had to buckle down,” said Scott. “It’s like our Super Bowl right now and we knew this was our moment to get it done.”
With the game hanging in the balance, and West clinging to a 37-35 lead, the Titans stifled the Trojans (2-7, 2-2) and limited them to a single free throw. West turned up its defensive pressure, extending it to half court and beyond, providing Central with a difficult time to get any rhythm going offensively.
“It comes down to their execution versus our execution and their execution was better,” said Central head coach Jeff Turner. “We just didn’t take care of the ball like we should have or score when we needed to.”