Varsity boys basketball wins first District game against Bowie

Aro Majumder

The varsity basketball team dominated in a game with a much closer scoreline than the play would indicate. They beat Bowie Dec. 11, 60-50, to start the District season with a 1-0 record but led for most of the game and delivered a strong first look at what this team is capable of this year.

“I thought there were stretches of the game where we played really well,” varsity head coach Robert Lucero said. “In the first half, we shot the ball well, which helped us get the lead. They’re a very hard team to play against, and they’re a very well-coached team, so I was proud that we were able to beat them for our first District win. Just like every game, there were some things that we will look back at on film and say we need to do better, but overall we’re happy we were able to beat them.”

Bowie fought back hard in the fourth quarter to bring the lead down to within single digits, but the Chaps hung on to preserve the victory. Key stops down the stretch were a big factor in closing out the game.

“We were up by a bunch, and we wanted to slow the game down, but we slowed it down too much and weren’t as aggressive as we should have been,” point guard sophomore Luke Pluymen said. “We scored 40-something points in the first half, and then we scored about 14 in the second. We just want that aggressiveness, and we’ll change that as the season goes along.”

Momentum was definitely on Westlake’s side going into the game. Bowie was coming off a tough loss against Austin High in District, and Westlake had won the Anderson Classic on Dec. 3-5, as well as a non-District game against Reagan on Dec. 8. However, games aren’t played on paper for a reason, and it wasn’t going to be an easy win by any means.

“We played really well in the first half, and in the second half we dropped off a little bit,” Luke said. “But that’s what we’re going to improve on, watch the film and practice hard. Hopefully, we’ll carry on how we played in the first half throughout the rest of the season. We’re happy with the win; 1-0 in District is always nice.”

Bowie played an aggressive style of defense, especially late in the second half while mounting a comeback. With traps high in the half-court, they made it difficult for the Chaps to get any rhythm offensively, but good adjustments allowed for the Chaps to put more points on the board.

“We were just trying to get the ball to the middle,” Lucero said. “Once we got the ball to the middle and out of the trap, we could look for a shot or a pass.”

Defense is always a great anchor, and it is a key factor to how well a team can play. Before the season, Lucero stressed the importance of defense to his team, and the team has responded well.

“We need to box-out better and rebound better,” Luke said. “But the fact that we knew what they were going to do and shut it down, means we executed pretty well on defense.”

The game took place at the same time as the semi-final State playoff game for the varsity football team, which negatively affected the attendance for this game. However, Lucero said he was happy with the overall turnout.

“You expect that when our football team is playing in such a big game,” Lucero said. “I’m just happy that we had some fans show up.”

The team plays its next game at 8 p.m. on Dec. 18 at Akins High School against Akins. This will be its second District game.

“We have four days to prepare,” Lucero said. “They’re a little bit of a smaller team, and they’re well-coached just like every other team in District. They’re also a little bit younger. We just have to make sure we play the right way and move the ball on offense and attack their weak points.”