By DAVE MORRISON
ESPN Radio 102.3 The Ticket
GARDNER – Shawn Jenkins told anyone who would listen this summer that he was excited about apair of sophomores, R.J. Hood and Hunter Walters.
He said that they would play a major role at some point for the No. 3 Renegades.
It didn’t take long.
Hood hit a couple of key shots, including a three that tied the score in the fourth quarter and a two to give the and also had a big free throw in overtime as Westside erased a double-digit lead to beat PikeView Friday, 66-64 in overtime.
Hood finished with nine points. Walters had two in the fourth and provided good defense in the second half, as Westside (1-0) shut down Seth Meadows, who had 18 points and the half but finished with just two in the second half and overtime.
“(Hood) made some big shots,” said Jenkins, who earned his first high school win in his first attempt. “I love that kid. He has ice water in his veins. He’s a kid who is not afraid to take the big shot. He wants to take the big shot. He certainly did that tonight.”
“The coaches always tell me not to be afraid to take the big shot so I’m not going to be afraid to take the big shot,” Hood said.
PikeView took an early lead and led by double figures for most of the contest, and still led 49-44 with 3:12 remaining.
That’s when Westside got rolling, Hood’s 3 and 2 keying a 7-0 lead. PikeView got the lead back55-52 on the Tyler Cecil 3 with 1:01 left.
After that it was a flurry of action to the finish. Isaiah Lester, who had 17 to lead Westside, tied it with 3, PikeView’s Todd Vest had a follow-up on a miss and Lester hit a drive to tie it with 16 seconds left.
Westside took control in the overtime and, up 65-64, Hood had a key free throw after getting a rebound on a miss by PikeView.
“They did a good job on defense in the second half,” acting coach Lindsey Jones, who led Mercer Christian two four straight state tournament berths between 2003-2006. “Obviously our first option was Seth but it seemed like he had at least four eyes on him all the time. I think he was almost triple covered. We still got a good look from a guy who was pretty hot for us (Cecil) from the top of the key.”
Head coach Colton Thompson missed the game tending to a family emergency.
“This is a tough place to get a win,” Jenkins said. “I’m happy to be walking out of here tonight with this victory.”
In addition to Lester’s 17, Corey Hatfeld had 12, 10 rebounds and four blocked shots and Elijah Puett added 11 points. Returning leading scorer Shane Jenkins was shadowed closely most of the night and finished with six points.
“He had a bad night,” his dad, Shawn Jenkins said. “I remember having those in high school. It was one of those night’s when he just didn’t have it.”
PikeView led by 10 at the half, and by as many as 14 early in the second half.
“Coach jumped on us pretty good at halftime,” Lester said. “We made some adjustments in the second half and that seemed to get us going.”
For PikeView, Meadows and Cecil each finished with 20. Vest had 12 and Wayne Brookman had 10.
Both PikeView and Westside hosted Region 3 co-finals last year but both lost.
Earlier this week, the two winners of those games, Bluefield and Wyoming East played with Bluefield taking a 70-69 victory.
It promises to be a wild ride in Region 3 this season.
Westside 66, PikeView 64 (OT)
Shane Jenkins 3 0-1 6, Jacob Ellis 2 0-0 5, Elijah Puett 3 5-6 11, Isaiah Lester 5 4-6 17, Corey Hatfield 6 0-0 12, Broc Smith 0 0-0 0, Matt Atwell 0 0-0 0, Hunter Walters 1 0-0 2, R.J. Hood 3 1-2 9, Dylan McComas 0 0-0 0, Kenneth Bledsoe 2 0-0 4, Curtis Gunnoe 0 0-0 0. Totals: 25 10-15 66.
Todd Vest 3 5-7 12, Tyler Boyd 1 0-0 2,Seth Meadows 3 12-12 20, Daniel Baldwin 0 0-0 0,Stacy Taylor 0 0-0 0, Zach Ruble 0 0-0 0, Sebastian Mann 0 0-0 0, Tyler Cecil 7 3-4 20, Wayne Brookman 5 0-2 10. Totals: 18 22-27 64
Westside 8 13 11 25 9 – 66
PikeView 18 13 8 18 7 – 64
Three-point field goals – W: 6 (Ellis, Lester 3, Hood 2), P: 6 (Vest, Meadows 2, Cecil 3).