By Kris Freeman, Sports Information Director, White House High School
LYNNVILLE – The White House boys turned up the defensive pressure on Thursday afternoon and blitzed Culleoka, 91-50, in the first day of the Richland Christmas Invitational.
Sophomore Evan Webster came off the bench and ignited a big run at the close of the first quarter, including a three-pointer with two seconds remaining, to give White House a 26-15 edge. By halftime, Webster had 15 and the Devils led 47-23. White House trapped the Warriors in a 2-1-2 full-court press zone.
“We try to get traps at half court, and that is our main goal to open up the offense,” Webster said. “We can drive and get layups but it also opens up the three-point line.”
Leading scorer Jared Ward caught up in the second half, scoring 18 of his game-high 30 points in the final two quarters, starting off the third with a pair of three-point buckets. Then, it was junior Kyle Elliott dropping in nine points over a three-minute span in the latter part of the third, ending the game with 12.
Ward’s 30 was among four Blue Devils in double figures as Webster added his fourth three-pointer in the second half for 18 points in the game, Elliott had 12, and Cole Pond 10. Pond came off the bench for a four-point burst, then finished the game after Kevin James exited with a cut on his forehead in the third period. He was OK, but had to be bandaged up and Pond knocked home his free throws.
Sophomore Durstin Adams scored seven, senior Bryant Reynolds scored six, junior Andrew Nixon had five with seven assists, and James had two. Logan Neufeld, Jacob McDonald and Zak Laamal played big minutes but did not score.
“I love being a part of a team that is deep from top to bottom,” Webster added. “We are going to come out ready to play no matter who is on the floor. It’s so fun to play with him (Jared) because you never know what he is going to do. He could drive and kick it out to you, or he can drive and shoot the layup. ”
White House (9-6, 2-2) will play Friday at 6 p.m. against Cornersville with the games held at Richland High School in Lynnville.
Culleoka fell to 0-10 and have yet to play a game in District 10-A. The Warriors were led in scoring by guard Eric Greene, who came off the bench to ignite a rally in the first quarter and had nine points. Chaffin Thrasher scored seven, Cooper Parks six, Blake Delk and Ethan Hardison five, Preston Bagsby, Chris Hutcherson and Kelton Pilkerton three, and Chase Delk and Caleb Nutt two.
Culleoka started the game down 9-0, but narrowed the gap to 14-9 on a pair of Greene threes, but then White House closed the first quarter on a 12-6 run. White House also went on another 9-0 run to start the second half and then put the game away in the fourth quarter.
White House won its second straight after a tough stretch of the season.
“I think we got through the mess and we’ve learned some things and I think we are ready to play,” Webster noted.