Dragons roll by Jackets


West Davidson's Taylor Beck goes up for a shot against Lexington in the first quarter of their game Tuesday night. (Photo by Donnie Roberts/The Dispatch)


TYRO | West Davidson’s boys felt like they outplayed Lexington in their first meeting last month.

Tuesday night, they got the scoreboard to verify it.

The Dragons built a lead in the first quarter and controlled the rest of the game, holding off every Lexington charge, en route to an impressive 64-49 Central Carolina Conference win over the Jackets on Crim Court. West halted a five-game CCC losing streak that started with a devastating 62-61 loss at Lexington on Jan. 11.

West senior Taylor Beck, whose steady play at point guard kept the Dragons from flinching under pressure, was relieved to get out of the rut. “Coach (Derrick Stokes) just came up and told us that we’ve got to do what we do,” Beck said. “He said if we do what we do, we’ll win every game we play.

“But if we do what they want us to do, we’re not gonna win.”

Stokes echoed that sentiment, after his team put on a clinic in offensive patience, hard cuts to the basket and crisp passing. “The biggest thing, we’ve got great kids,” Stokes said. “What are they learning, and what are they teaching people?

“Start off 0-7, then go on a streak. Lose five straight games in conference and, at times, looked embarrassing. Then they win tonight.”

Coleman Hayes drained a 3-pointer for the Jackets to get within 15-12 early in the second quarter. But, as was the case all night, West had an answer as Austin Teague converted a three-point play. Andrew Kahn, who got a rare start, keyed a 9-2 run for the Dragons with seven straight points, and the Dragons carried a 29-20 lead into the locker room.

From there, West went into somewhat of a stall, featuring long offensive possessions that often ended with a backdoor cut to the basket. Seven different Dragons scored in the third period, as the lead swelled to 43-27. The Jackets tried to fight back with a full-court trap in the fourth quarter, but Beck, Zach Queen and Teague repeatedly worked their way out of trouble to find an open teammate downcourt. When Beck hit Tyler Grooms for an easy look inside after breaking the press, West led 53-35 with 3:05 to play, and Lexington never threatened from there.

Lexington coach Robert Hairston had an easy explanation for his team’s loss. “Too many turnovers,” Hairston lamented. “We turned it over more than we shot it.

“You can’t turn it over like that and expect to beat a good team.”

Grooms led a balanced attack for West (2-5, 7-13) with 16 points. Teague added 13, Kahn had 12 and David Monk 10.

Nolan Benson and Hayes had 11 points each for the Jackets, who slipped to 4-3, 7-13.

Jason Queen can be reached at 249-3981, ext. 220 or jason.queen@the-dispatch.com.