BOURBON — The magic that kept Oregon-Davis nipping at Westville’s heels evaporated in the fourth quarter.
After watching the Bobcats stay consistently within a possession or two during the third frame, Westville shot off 12 unanswered points to open the final stanza and shrugged off OD 70-54 in Class A Boys Basketball Sectional 50 first-round action at The Trojan Trench Tuesday.
Westville moves on to face Argos in the second semifinal Friday. Host Triton takes on South Central — a 59-50 winner over Marquette in Tuesday’s opener — in the first semifinal Friday at 6:30 p.m.
“We just ran out of gas in the fourth quarter,” OD head coach Matt Richie said. “We had some shots that fell earlier in the game that didn’t fall in the fourth quarter.
“But these kids wanted to come out and prove something, and they did,” he added. “They had a good spirit about them, a spirit of competitiveness. They showed they can play this game.”
OD trailed just 48-45 heading into the final quarter, but Westville’s 12-0 run, ignited by back-to-back triples from Dan Warnke and Jesse Mills, put it up 60-45 with 5:39 left in the game. Westville maintained a double-figure edge the rest of the way.
“We hit some guys with bounce passes, and ran the offense a little better in the fourth quarter,” Westville head coach Bill Berger said. “That got us going a little bit.”
The Bobcats, though, gave Westville, which beat OD 94-56 Feb. 5, quite a struggle in the rematch.
OD junior Zach Richie — the state’s leading scorer — registered a game-high 24 points, headlined by a desperation heave from beyond the timeline that rattled in at the halftime horn to knot the score at 30-all. He then opened the third quarter with a traditional 3-point play to give the Bobcats a short-lived 33-30 advantage.
“That was a great shot to hit going into halftime,” the OD skipper said. “We told the kids it was an even game, and everything starts over again.”
However, the Blackhawks’ 2-3 zone clamped down and held Zach Richie to just a single bucket over the final 13 minutes.
“We played a 2-3 zone, and we know (Zach Richie) likes to go to his right,” Berger said. “We had our two-guy front go with him right, and then had one guy go try to deny him, but he’s a tough guy to guard; he moves around real well.
“We told our kids what we did earlier in the season doesn’t matter,” he added. “A drowning man doesn’t go down without a fight. That 3-point shot at halftime was the drowning man trying to claw back above water. I give OD a lot of credit.”
Junior center Zach Taylor contributed seven points, 10 rebounds and three assists, and senior Nathan Boyle chipped in five points for the Bobcats.
Mills led Westville with 20 points, 10 rebounds and six assists. Senior forward Reilly Wilson sat much of the first half in foul trouble, but recovered to score all 15 of his points after the half, including an old-fashioned 3-point play off a baseline drive to put the Blackhawks up for good, 35-33 at the third frame’s 6:52 mark.
“The Wilson kid gave us problems with his inside presence, his size, mobility,” Matt Richie said. “He’d catch it, turn, and then we’re in a tough position. We started to deny that pass, and then they went backdoor.”
Also for the Blackhawks, Christian Porter chipped in 15 points, and Warnke handed out four assists.
OD finishes the season 3-18 and graduates Boyle and Marc Edwards.
“This was a season of ups and downs,” Matt Richie said. “The second half of the season we fought the injury and flu bug. I think tonight we were as healthy as we’ve been in a long time. I think we executed better, both offensively and defensively.”
• CLASS A
Score by quarters
Westville: 19 30 48 70
OD: 9 30 45 54
WESTVILLE (70): Christian Porter 6 0-0 15, Dan Warnke 2 3-3 9, Ryan Gumns 0 0-0 0, Brian Popp 0 0-0 0, Kevin Stone-Tharp 1 0-0 2, Jesse Mills 6 6-10 20, Glen Cole 1 0-0 2, Skyler Rippe 1 0-0 2, Reilly Wilson 5 5-5 15, Lou Grounds 2 1-5 5. TOTALS: 24 15-23 70.
OD (54): Zach Richie 9 3-4 24, Dalton Taylor 1 0-0 2, Craig McIntosh 2 0-1 5, Nolan Coffin 0 0-0 0, Ricardo Mastrocesare 0 2-4 2, Kenneth VandeMieroop 3 0-0 6, Zach Taylor 3 0-0 7, Nathan Boyle 4 0-0 8. TOTALS: 22 5-9 54.
3-point goals: Westville 7 (Porter 3, Warnke 2, Mills 2), OD 5 (Richie 3, McIntosh, Z. Taylor); Turnovers: Westville 17, OD 16; Rebounds: Westville 39 (Mills 10), OD 29 (Taylor 10); Assists: Westville 15 (Mills 6), OD 9 (Z. Taylor 3); Steals: Westville 5 (Mills 2), OD 5; Fouls (fouled out): Westville 14 (none), OD 18 (none); Records: Westville 10-11, OD 3-18 (final).