“The girls showed some real resilience tonight, withstanding a couple of charges by Westlake and we were able to pull this victory out,” Langston Hughes coach Borato Broughton said. “I’m proud of them.”
Kayla McCray scored 12 points and Jazmin Williams blocked six shots for the Lady Panthers, who defeated the Lady Lions for the second straight time after losing the first four meetings.
“This is maybe the second biggest win of my career as a head coach,” Broughton said. “After coaching here under Hilda Hankerson for over nine years and then being her first coach to leave and become a head coach and having to build my program right around the corner.”
Anriel Howard led Westlake with 19 points and 18 rebounds – 12 offensive – and Marissa Cantrell scored 10 points.
When the third quarter buzzer sounded, Langston Hughes’ perfect region record appeared to be in jeopardy since Lauren Turner converted a layup before time expired to give Westlake a 45-43 edge.
However, Caldwell would spark a 9-3 run with back-to-back baskets and a 3-pointer by Jones would cap the surge for a 52-48 edge with 4:44 remaining.
“Tia is a gem,” Broughton said. “She is so mature in the game. She plays with poise that some of the other players don’t have yet. She is so versatile and in the right place at the right time. She showed up tonight when we needed it.”
From thereon, the Lady Panthers would trade buckets with Westlake the rest of the way to seal the win.
“It was total team effort,” Broughton said. “But now we go into the second season. We are 0-0 now. We just want to really come out and get that No. 1 seed in the region tournament and carry that into the state playoffs and see how deep we can go.”
Even though the game was close during the first three quarters also, the flow of the contest was disrupted due to a bunch of fouls committed by both teams.
Westlake finished 18-of-38 (47 percent) from the free-throw line and Langston Hughes went 16-of-28 (57 percent) from the stripe.
These two rivals could meet for a third time this season at the Region 3-AAAAAA tournament at East Coweta this week.