Farragut vs. Westinghouse, one of the Public League’s passionate old rivalries, has seen better days.
“It has tailed off a bit,” Westinghouse senior Kier Jordan said. “We know some of the seniors but I don’t think it is really a rivalry anymore.”
The No. 23 Warriors dominated the visiting Admirals 73-36 on Wednesday. There was a running clock in the fourth quarter.
Farragut coach William Nelson wasn’t too concerned. He’s using the eight games this season to get his young team some experience and discipline. Nelson kept his leading scorer, a promising freshman, on the bench.
“These guys have to learn that I’m not messing around,” Nelson said. “Kevin Garnett didn’t start after he missed a practice. I’ve kicked my best player off the team before because he was failing math. I’m a math teacher. They keep telling me I’m crazy. No, I’m not. They never did it again. It is what it is. I don’t have anything to prove. I have more than 500 wins.”
Westinghouse coach Rafie Fields, who is still working on his first 100 wins, has the Warriors trending in the right direction. After a stint in the White Division and then a few seasons fighting to stay up in the Red, Westinghouse is once again one of the better teams in the Public League.
“When we come out and execute and do things the right way we fell like we can play with anyone in the state,” Fields said. “The way we played defense today is the way we should have been playing all season long.”
The Warriors (7-1, 6-1 Red North-West) didn’t allow Farragut (3-3, 3-3) to score a basket for a 10-minute stretch that closed the first half.
“This is probably one of the best teams that we’ve had and because of COVID-19 we didn’t have a chance to really show our full potential,” Westinghouse senior Dwayne Walton said. “We started slow some games this season but we didn’t let that happen today.”
Walton and Juvon Crawford each scored 12 points and 6-7 junior Martell Webb added 11 points and eight rebounds for Westinghouse.
“[Webb] could do that every game but today it was just easy,” said Jordan, who scored 10 points. “So we just kept giving him the ball.”
Senior Malik Williams led Farragut with 10 points and sophomore Justin Pickens added eight points and seven rebounds. Senior Charles Doyle scored eight points and grabbed five boards.
Farragut’s young group pulled off an upset win against Clark and beat a talented Lincoln Park team this season. Nelson has just nine players in his entire program. The Admirals don’t have a freshman or sophomore team for the second consecutive year.
“I’m not going to let the young guys I have slip up and stop doing what they are supposed to be doing,” Nelson said. “This is the best time to teach them that, right now.”
The Public League basketball season ends Saturday. Many coaches had expressed an interest in some kind of end-of-season event, but it never materialized. There will be no promotion/relegation between the divisions this year, so there isn’t much to play for and the season will quietly fade out over the next few days, overshadowed by the start of football.
“We played some games,” Nelson said. “But [with no crowds or playoffs] there really wasn’t much to it and most of us are ready for it to end.”
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