Morristown West got production from multiple players off the bench on Friday evening as they continued to win, blasting Knox Central 60-33.
The Lady Trojans never really struggled in the contest, never letting Central get comfortable and in a rhythm on the offensive side of the ball. For the second straight game, West came alive in the fourth quarter, outscoring Central 21-10 in the final frame.
“We’re playing really good defense right now,” Morristown West coach Johnny Galyon said. “I think we’re playing well in the first three quarters, but we just have to make shots. We’ve been doing that in the fourth quarter. The girls are just really hungry right now, and I think that shows in the way they are playing.”
While all five starters played well for West, it was Aviah Bunsic that led the team in scoring with 11 points off the bench. Jaelyn McDaniels and Mikayla Olodey also had six points each off the bench while Mia Dinkins played well, too.
“I thought Dinkins and Bunsic both played really well coming off the bench,” Galyon said. “There were just so many people down the line that contributed and played well tonight.”
Along with those four players, Nina Lovelace and Aubrie Messer had 10 points each. Other scorers were Hannah Edwards with two, Kelsey Kinley with four, Kaylee Dyke with three, Delaney Weddington with three and Cadence Beaver with three.
It was the defensive effort that really stood out in the game for the Lady Trojans, forcing 34 turnovers. While the shots weren’t always falling early in the game, their ability to defend the entire floor and play hard had a huge factor in the lack of success for Central.
“We’re just playing so hard on defense and getting in the right spots,” Galyon said. “I loved their rotation tonight and our press was effective which really helps us. We have such good length that allows the press to be good.”
It was a good start for West as they got turnovers early and broke out to an 11-0 lead. McDaniels had four points during the run while Lovelace hit a 3-pointer and Bunsic and Olodey scored. Central finally got on the board with 1:35 to go in the opening frame and trailed 11-5 after one.
In the second, the defense was big again for West, allowing just seven points and forcing 10 turnovers. West scored 12 points of their own, six coming from Bunsic, and led 23-12 at the break.
In the third, West forced 11 more turnovers as they really began pulling away with 16 points. Central opened the quarter with two free throws, but West rallied off 14 straight points to go up 53-27. The run started on an Olodey basket and a Messer basket. After Weddington scored three straight Bunsic scored three straight too. Kinley capped off the run with a layup.
Central finally scored on two more free throws, but Kinley scored again as did McDaniles. West’s scoring was capped off when Beaver drilled a 3-pointer.
With West’s win, they continue a solid start to the season, winning five of their first six games.
“It’s good for the school and good for the fans,” Galyon said. “We don’t really worry about that though, we just worry about playing hard. There’s definitely some excitement around the gym which is really fun and important.”