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Girls basketball: West Side starts fast in blowout against Griffith

Updated: February 19, 2013 3:15PM



GRIFFITH — After a four-hour roundtrip bus ride and tough loss at Elkhart Memorial on Wednesday night, Rod Fisher was worried about his team’s energy level.

As it turned out, West Side’s coach didn’t need to fret about Thursday night’s nonconference game against Griffith.

The Cougars (14-3) raced to a 16-0 lead, led 18-2 after the opening quarter and cruised to a 57-27 victory over the punchless Panthers (11-7). Sophomore guard Lexus Fox scored a team-high 13 points and grabbed nine rebounds to lead the Cougars, while Lessia Smith added nine points off the bench. Senior Mariah Hopkins finished with eight points as did junior guard Dejah Joshua.

“I thought they came out with a lot of energy tonight,’’ Fisher said. “I was very happy with the way we played. We lost a tough game last night, but their energy level was very high. They know why we scheduled back-to-back games — to get ready for February.’’

The athletic Cougars bounced back in impressive fashion, though, despite arriving back at school at 11:30 p.m. The team should have been back earlier, but Fisher said the bus driver got lost.

Fox, who had been coming off the bench for the Cougars until the last couple of weeks, scored all 13 of her points in the first three quarters.

“She’s very athletic, but she still needs to work on a lot of things and she needs to play better,’’ Fisher said.

The loss snapped a three-game winning streak for Griffith.

“It was pretty obvious that we weren’t ready to play in the first quarter,’’ coach Tom Golumbeck said. “They’re very athletic. We threw everything we had at them. I don’t know if a lot of people realize it or not, but they’re a pretty good defensive team. They’re very athletic and hard to score against. It was very difficult for us to keep them off the boards.’’

Senior Taylor Austin led the Panthers with 13 points.

“Taylor’s been playing well for us offensively the last three or four games,’’ Golumbeck said. “She’s been more aggressive and is looking to score a little bit more, which helps us.’’



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