Varsity basketball dispatches Vandegrift with fourth quarter run

Vandegrift kept the game close for three quarters of the game, but a 13-2 run by Westlake stretching from the end of the third quarter to midway through the fourth quarter sealed the deal.

“We were lackadaisical,” sophomore Greg Brown III said. “We should have got to the rim and made more layups. Personally, I should have made more layups and free throws.”

Junior Will Baker and Greg, the No. 2 player in their respective classes according to, faced off opposite each other to open District play for both teams.

Will won the night with a game-high 30 points and added 11 boards and three blocks. Greg wasn’t on him for most of the night due to foul trouble, and that allowed Will to work inside against much smaller defenders. But Vandegrift head coach Cliff Ellis said he knew whatever his team did defensively, it would be tough to stop the talented big man.

“It really doesn’t matter how you guard him,” he said. “He’s so dominant, and he’s left handed, which makes it very odd. In post players, you don’t see that very often. But he can finish with right or left, step out and knock down three’s, he’s just a phenomenal basketball player.”  

On the other side of the court, Will also wasn’t the man guarding Greg. With senior Matthew Mayer out with a fever, that assignment went to senior Brock Cunningham, one of the emotional leaders on the team.  

Brock held the star player to just 15 points, a stat that surprised Westlake coaches even though they knew how good Brock was defensively. He also had a nice night for hustle stats, picking up 10 rebounds and four blocks.

“When you make each play a matchup between you and another guy, you want to win that matchup every single time,” he said. “I take pride in trying my hardest through every play and matchup.”

The Vipers stayed in the game during the third quarter with three shots from downtown by Justin Florence. But a Lucero timeout to tell his team to stop rushing to take shots helped calm the team down as they pulled away.

Brock echoed his coaches comments after the game saying they will need to take smarter shots if they want to succeed in their holiday tournament at Rancho Mirage, California.

“We can’t put up quick shots,” he said. “We got to work the ball around, and I did a pretty bad job of that and threw up some bad shots today.”