HIGH POINT — Westchester Country Day played how it wants to play.
The Wildcats created turnovers and forced misses on defense, quickly got up the floor for scores near the basket on offense and raced past North Hills Christian 76-18 in nonconference boys basketball Friday in Westchester’s Brooks Gymnasium.
“I thought we played really well,” Westchester coach Brook Patterson said. “The other night we were down 19 in the first quarter, so our message was that we can’t let that happen. We wanted to come out, jump on them early, do what we do and we really did that.”
Tyler Matthews scored 17 points — including 15 in the first half — to lead the Wildcats (3-1), who had to rally past The O’Neal School 54-51 on Tuesday. Bo Brigman, grabbing a number of offensive rebounds and scoring on putbacks, followed with 14 points while Jacob Johnson added 10 points.
Westchester, which had 11 of its 13 players score in the game, opened with the first 14 points of the game. It scored on its first four possessions — including three baskets in transition — and 10 of 12 possessions to lead by 18 five minutes in. It started the second with scores on its first six possessions to lead by 28.
“We’ve got to come out aggressive like that every game,” Matthews said. “If we don’t, then we’re going to be down, especially in the conference we play in. It felt good because we were all together as a team and we were all one unit. So, it felt great. That was the first time this season we’ve done that.”
The Wildcats, who frequently play against larger powers like Greensboro Day and High Point Christian, quickly pushed their lead past 30 before taking a 53-12 cushion into halftime. With the clock running throughout the second half, Westchester’s lead hit 51 in the third and peaked at 58 late in the fourth.
The Wildcats used the opportunity to rotate in more substitutes and allow players throughout the lineup to gain more confidence prior to heading into conference play next month against those bigger schools.
“I think we’re getting better as a team,” Matthews said. “That’s our biggest thing. We’re trying to make the basketball program like the soccer program here. So, we really want to play together as a team and as a unit. If we can do that, then we can surprise a lot of people because we don’t look like basketball players.”
Westchester, ranked No. 11 among NCISAA 2A teams by MaxPreps, aims to continue its strong play Tuesday on the road against Burlington Christian, ranked No. 10 in the NCISAA 2A. It’ll play again Friday, Dec. 11, at home against Woodlawn School.
“That’s huge for us, because we needed that,” Patterson said of the win. “And we needed some guys to step in and have some confidence. Like Ben Bublitz, he came in and we’ve been trying to get him over that hump and he did that tonight.
“Bo played great and Myles (Patterson) did some other things, which was helpful for our whole team. It was great that we all got involved and had a bunch of different guys contribute. That’s when it’s fun.”
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WESTCHESTER COUNTRY DAY BOYS 76, NORTH HILLS 18
NHC 4 8 3 3 — 18
WCDS 22 31 12 11 — 76
NORTH HILLS CHRISTIAN
Mosher 7, McInnis 3, Davis 3, Hager 2, Wooten 2, Sloan 1
WESTCHESTER COUNTRY DAY
Tyler Matthews 17, Bo Brigman 14, Jacob Johnson 10, Powell 8, Edwards 6, J. Bayne 5, C. Bayne 4, Morgan 4, Walters 4, Scavo 2, H. Brigman 2