Friday, December 25, 2015

Why I believe Westside is playing Augusta's best basketball

Westside improved to 6-2 with a 72-58 runaway win over Josey in the Richmond County Christmas tournament's consolation game. Four Patriots scored in double figures. Christian Robinson followed his 21 point game against Laney Tuesday with 23 against Josey. Trez Hawes added 16 after logging 18 the night before. Dekwan Lewis added 15 and Javon Rayton chipped in 10.

Donald Jordan led all scorers with 34 points in the loss.

No team is playing better than Westside...

Wins and losses are the ultimate measure. So most people would say Laney is playing the best basketball in town. They haven't lost.

But I can't help but feel that Westside is making the most progress of any local team and that the Patriots are the poised to do significant damage when the calendar turns and region competition heats up.

In the past 19 days, coach Marvin Fields's squad has beaten what I believed to be the three best teams in Augusta not named Laney - Richmond, Butler, and Josey - by margins of 11, 19, and 14, respectively. Also during that time, the Patriots twice had me convinced mid game that they would be the first team in over two years to take down Laney (see here and here).

Guards Trez Hawes and Christian Robinson are doing as much (or more) to contribute to their team's success as any players I've seen this season. That includes Laney's much acclaimed guards Christian Keeling and Zep Jasper.

The duo scored a combined 39 points in back-to-back games against Laney Tuesday and Josey Wednesday when the Patriots man handled the Eagles to claim third place in the Richmond County Christmas tournament.

Hawes (top) and Robinson (below) combined to score
78 points in Tuesday and Wednesday's games
against Josey and Laney.
Also playing effectively are Dekwan Lewis and Justin Phillips. During every close game this season, one or both of these guards have made a major impact by making threes and attacking the basket. Lewis scored 15 points against Josey and 18 versus Butler in the Patriots' pair of runaway wins in this week's tournament. And Phillips opened the season on fire, scoring 16 points in a win at Lakeside and another 16 three days later in another win at Richmond.

With 3 or 4 perimeter players consistently scoring and making a high percentage of their attempts, a high school team can do major damage. When they are doing it after swinging the basketball from side to side, running off screens, and often waiting 40-60 seconds before pulling the trigger, they can demoralize an opponent.

Because of the Patriots' slow pace of play, and because of the team's balance and unselfishness, no player had scored over 20 points in a game until Robinson did it twice this week. But because of their style of play, 14 points from these guards has seemed like 20, and 20 has seemed more like 30.

But the numbers that matters most when assessing this team are the win total, the competition against whom that win total has come against, and the margin of victory the Patriots have tallied. I expect more of the same when the new year comes.


  1. Good assessment Chad. I will go on to make a bold prediction that Westside will play Laney for the region title and win.

    1. I won't be surprised at all if that's the case.

  2. This comment has been removed by the author.