West Charlottes boys basketball team got a wake-up call of sorts Tuesday night in a three-point loss to I-Meck 4A foe Hough.
The Lions ranked second in the Observers Sweet 16 responded Wednesday, rolling past fourth-ranked Vance 69-56 in front of a standing-room-only crowd at West Charlottes gym to remain atop the I-Meck 4A standings.
Kennedy Meeks had 16 points and 11 rebounds, and teammate Gabon Williams scored a team-best 19 for West Charlotte (18-3, 10-1), which now holds a one-game lead over the Cougars (16-4, 9-2) and the sixth-ranked Huskies (15-5, 9-2) with three conference games remaining.
We didnt play great towards the end (against Hough), and made too many mistakes, Meeks said. We learned we needed to play hard the whole game.
And the Lions accomplished that against Vance, overcoming a soft first quarter to push its lead to 35-25 at the half. West Charlotte then extended its lead to as many as 18 points in the second half.
The one thing I told them was that I read a definition of hunger, Lions coach Baronton Terry said. It said something like, not only crave after the things you want, but crave them like you need them.
I felt that they werent hungry enough (Tuesday). Throughout the game (Wednesday), I saw that hunger.
Caleb Davis scored a game-high 22 points, Torin Dorn added 11 and Malik Massey had 10 for Vance.
While West Charlotte controlled the boards, outrebounding the Cougars 29-19, Vance hurt itself at the free throw line as the Lions got into foul trouble.
The Cougars made just 3 of 12 from the line in the first three quarters, and only picked up the pace in the fourth quarter with a 10 of 17 effort, going 13 of 29 overall.
Youre not going to beat a good team shooting free throws like that, Vance coach Will Robinson said.
Were still in contention for first place still; weve just got to take care of business. Weve got to put ourselves in position to make that last home game of the season (a rematch against West Charlotte on Feb. 14) mean something.