Chris Walters provided the early offense for Westhill High School in Saturday's 77-75 win over Brien McMahon High in the quarterfinals of the Fairfield County Interscholastic Athletic Conference boys basketball tournament at Fairfield Ludlowe High School.
Antwaun Boyd and Tony Dobbinson joined the party in the second half, and the third-seeded Vikings hung on to stop the sixth-seeded Senators to reach Monday's semifinals at Webster Bank Arena. Westhill (16-5) will play Stamford in Monday's semifinals at a time to be announced.
Walters scored a career-high 32 to lead the Vikings. Dobbinson (15 points) and Boyd (18) combined for 26 in the second half as the Vikings built a 13-point lead with 1:53 remaining. McMahon rallied to get within 75-72 with 37.5 seconds to play, but Boyd hit two free throws with 35.8 second left to restore the five-point cushion. McMahon used a late three-pointer to draw close. The Senators did not get another chance to score.
"They basically hung their heads early,'' said Westhill coach Howard White, whose team trailed by nine in the second quarter. "We needed someone to step up and help Chris in the second half."
Walters had 18 in the first half for Westhill, which trailed 23-14 with 6:05 left in the second quarter. The Vikings closed with a 16-8 run to get within 31-30 at halftime in a seesaw first half that saw nine lead changes.
The game stayed tight for most of the second half. McMahon was within three, 64-61, after T.J. McCrae's three-pointer with 3:56 remaining. Dobbinson hit a three-pointer to spark a 10-0 run, punctuated by a Walters dunk with 1:53 left, to make it 74-61 with 1:53 left. Westhill held on despite missing three foul shots in the final 1:30.
"I thought here we go again,'' White said. "They're a team that always gives us trouble. It made me nervous."
Westhill shot 10-for-12 from the field in the fourth quarter. Tim Simmons (eight points) added five in the fourth quarter as the Vikings erupted for 28 points. "I don't think we shot the ball well,'' White said. "We were able to hit our jump shots in the second half, and were able to get some help for Chris."
What are you impressions of Westhill's boys basketball team? Do you think they can win the FCIAC championship?
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