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Cougars ‘D’ just too much for Hammond

Hammond senior Jomo Bennett drives past West Side sophomore Arnold Wilsduring their game Friday February 24 2012 Hammond High School

Hammond senior Jomo Bennett drives past West Side sophomore Arnold Wilson during their game at Friday, February 24, 2012, at Hammond High School in Hammond. | Scott M. Bort~For Sun-Times Media

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Updated: March 26, 2012 8:13AM



HAMMOND — West Side head coach Winston Garland pleaded with his team and kept encouraging the Cougars.

Garland wanted his players to start playing better defense and stop turning the ball over with the regularity in which they had been doing so during the first 12 minutes of their non-conference game against Hammond Friday night.

Once the Cougars (9-9) received Garland’s message and stopped turning the ball over so much, they were able to turn the game in their favor and emerge with a convincing 52-33 win over the Wildcats (7-12).

“I just had to believe in my teammates, and I did,” Cougars’ sophomore guard Jare Glover said.

“We started to pick it up on defense and we started playing better. We stopped turning the ball over so much and began to take over.”

Glover, who averages just over seven points per game, scored 10 of his game-high 13 points in the first half, including seven in the second period.

The beginning of the second quarter is when Hammond took advantage of some of those turnovers to edge closer to the Cougars after trailing 14-5 after eight minutes.

Glover buried a 3-point shot in each of the first three periods to help the Cougars open up a double-digit lead before the first half ended, and, maintain it.

“That’s one of my better shots,” Glover said. “It felt like it was one of my better games.”

Rashaad Armstrong had a strong game for the Cougars, too. The senior forward finished with 11 points, including seven in the first half when West Side built a 31-21 lead.

The Cougars went on a 14-2 run overlapping the third and fourth quarters to turn a 36-27 lead into a 50-29 edge.

“It was a good win for us, yeah,” Glover said. “I feel like we’re ready for (the sectional). We just have to work hard in practice and then bring it in that first game. We want to make a statement.”

Hammond’s Michael Kirkendall didn’t play until the second half. He was forced to sit out the first two quarters for violating a team rule. Wildcats’ coach Johnny Ryan, and the Cougars’ Garland didn’t make themselves available for 20 minutes following the game.



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