By Michael Kinney
The Norman Transcript
OKLAHOMA CITY —
OKLAHOMA CITY — Trey Ayala is an emotional player. The Westmoore senior wears his emotions on his sleeves every time he touches the court.
But he doesn’t worry.
When his Jaguars trailed district rival Moore by 10 at halftime Tuesday, Ayala and his teammates knew plenty of time remained. As it turned out, time enough to claim a 74-66 victory over the Lions.
“Coach just said, ‘Don’t keep your heads down,’” Ayala said. “We have a long time to play. We have 16 minutes left and we just came out and battled our butts off.”
With the Jaguars leading by four with 2:30 remaining, Dillion Thompson drove into the lane and lofted a finger roll over the outstretched arms of Moore’s Braden Powell. He made it, got fouled and made the free throw.
Ayala came up with a steal and got the ball to Tripp Fuller, who was fouled. He made both free throws and the Jags (7-4) led by nine.
Powell and Maurice Davenport propelled Moore on a 7-1 run over the next three possessions, but the Lions got no closer than three points.
Thompson and Ayala made 5 of 6 free throws to close out the victory.
“It’s a big win because it keeps the streak going,” Thompson said. “The key was just not to let the first half get us down and just keep working in the second half.”
After connecting for six 3-pointers, Ayala led all scorers with 29 points. Thompson’s feat may have been more amazing: two points at the half, 28 by the buzzer. Fuller added 15. The three of them scored 72 of Westmoore’s 74 points.
Davenport posted 19 points for Moore. Powell added 11. Jaylon Wilson and Diontre Cutliff each scored nine.
A brief flair-up between players erupted at the buzzer. But both coaches chalked it up to the intensity of the rivalry.
“I understand it’s Moore-Westmoore,” Moore coach Aaron Howell said. “But attack each game the same. There is going to be a little bit more fuel with the Westmoore game. But attack every game with the same emotion.”
It was the Lions who were on the attack to start the night. Even without starting center Dorian Gigger in the lineup , the Lions pounded the boards early. KJ Hinds seemed to snatch every offensive rebound off the glass before the Jaguars’ big men were able to get off the floor.
Ayala kept Westmoore in the game with 10 first-quarter points.
Moore’s deep and quick backcourt were the driving force in a 34-24 halftime edge.
Ayala was unconscious in the third quarter, scoring eight points in 90 seconds to close the gap to 35-33.
“It felt like I couldn’t be stopped,” Ayala said. “They kept feeding me, so I kept shooting.”
It wasn’t just Ayala who couldn’t be stopped.
“We talked at halftime just about keeping our composure,” Westmoore coach Scott Hodges said. “We didn’t have many things go well in the first half. Then in the second half we came out and cut the lead … It’s just kind of the resolve our guys have.”
Westmoore girls 58, Moore 33: The Jaguars jumped out to a 19-8 first- quarter lead and never let the Lions get back into the game. Ashley Gomez scored 9 of her 12 points in the third period to put the game away.
Caitlin Hall paced Moore (2-9) with 12 points. Amanda Patterson added nine in the loss. Victoria Lay came off the Westmoore (4-7) bench to lead all scorers with 13 points.