“I thought we made major improvements throughout the year. We weren’t the most talented team but we probably overachieved more than a lot of teams we’ve had. To finish second in our league and tournament and to get a state playoff win says a lot about this team,” said Wildcats basketball coach Dan Spainhour.
West traveled to Lake Norman Charter High School on Thursday night to compete in the second round of the NCHSAA state playoffs and fell 65-52 to the Knights.
“I was proud of the effort of our guys. Lake Norman is a very good team which is evident by their win over Smoky Mountain on Saturday,” the coach said.
Noah Spainhour put West on the board with a 3-pointer and the Wildcats maintained a 14-10 lead in the first eight minutes.
West trailed by six with three minutes left in the second quarter, but rallied with back-to-back 3’s from Wes Ayers and a layup from Josh Turner to tie the game 29-29 at halftime.
The Wildcats ran into foul trouble in the third quarter while the Knights built a 47-36 advantage with ten points coming from Lake Norman’s 6’8 junior Grayson Hickert.
Ayers added his third 3 of the night to put West within eight points with 3:56 left in the game. Reid Fulk hit a deep three less than a minute later closing the gap to 59-52, but it was the last score for the Wildcats.
Turner led West with 28 points, Ayers tacked on nine, Spainhour six, Fulk five, and Kameron Wall four.
“I thought Josh Turner made a great deal of progress and I’m looking forward to seeing how much he develops over the off-season,” the coach said.
After leaving their mark, Caustin Beckner, Wall, Andrew Spainhour, Gavin Parker, and Broderick Howard finished their high school basketball careers.
“They were really hurt after the game on Thursday which shows how much it meant to them to be a part of the program. I’ll miss coaching them all,” Spainhour said. “Caustin and Kameron have been on varsity for four years and Andrew Spainhour was a three year member who had some big moments this year. Gavin Parker was a real program guy who always accepted whatever role he was asked to take on and as the season progressed he played some very meaningful minutes.”
Spainhour is optimistic in the group returning next season.
“I feel like they got a taste of what it’s like and are now ready and willing to put in the necessary time and effort to improve in the off-season,” he said.
Amanda Dodson can be reached at 336-813-2426 or on Twitter at AmandaTDodson.