By Jonathan Deal
West Limestone players felt out of their element with a comfortable lead late in the game against Central. After playing as fast as they could for three and a half quarters, West Limestone played ball control with a double-digit lead for the final four minutes to beat Central 56-46 Friday night.
“We don’t feel comfortable backing out and holding the ball,” said Taylor. “If we hold it too long, we might end up taking a bad shot or turning it over. We always have to keep trying to score.”
That fast tempo allowed the Wildcats to take a 15-point lead at halftime. Austin Tuten’s jumper at the buzzer made it 33-18 West entering the break. Aaron McWilliams was a big reason for the double-digit lead. The senior scored 19 first-half points and finished with a game-high 21.
West led by as much as 17 points before Central made a run in the fourth quarter that caused West to play conservatively. Caleb McConnell helped ice the game, shooting 7 of 8 from the free-throw line in the fourth quarter. McConnell finished with 11 points. Nathaniel Adams earned a hard-fought 15 points in the paint for the Wildcats.
“We’re playing well,” said Taylor. “We’re managing the win. We’re not playing great, but were managing the game. We lost a tough one to East and beat a good Brooks team. This Central team is much improved.”
West moves on to play Rogers in the area championship game. Tipoff from West Limestone is at 7 p.m. Monday, Feb. 11. Other area tournament scores from Friday, Feb. 8:
Area 16 at R.A. Hubbard
Shoals Christian 66, Athens Bible 52
Area 15 at Tanner
Tanner 66, Lexington 46
Area 15 at West Morgan
West Morgan 71, Elkmont 44
Area 14 at J.O. Johnson
Johnson 76, Ardmore 45
Area 16 at West Limestone
West Limestone 56, Central 46
Area 15 at East Limestone
East Limestone 64, Hartselle 57
Class 5A Area 16 at Athens
Athens 60, Muscle Shoals 46