Threes power West to crosstown victory
by Joel Danoy
Jan 05, 2013 | 4420 views | 0 0 comments | 30 30 recommendations | email to a friend | print
West High senior Justin Saar (left) goes up for a shot as Tracy High junior Devin Foster tries to put on some defensive pressure during the crosstown game Friday, Jan. 4, at West High.  Glenn Moore/Tracy Press
West High senior Justin Saar (left) goes up for a shot as Tracy High junior Devin Foster tries to put on some defensive pressure during the crosstown game Friday, Jan. 4, at West High. Glenn Moore/Tracy Press
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Tracy High junior Josh Brakkee (right) takes a shot as West High senior Obrien Nnaji goes up for a block attempt during the crosstown game Friday, Jan. 4, at West High.  Glenn Moore/Tracy Press
Tracy High junior Josh Brakkee (right) takes a shot as West High senior Obrien Nnaji goes up for a block attempt during the crosstown game Friday, Jan. 4, at West High. Glenn Moore/Tracy Press
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West High senior Hayden Ordone (left) drives past for a shot as Tracy High junior Damon Stroup along the sideline during the crosstown game Friday, Jan. 4, at West High.  Glenn Moore/Tracy Press
West High senior Hayden Ordone (left) drives past for a shot as Tracy High junior Damon Stroup along the sideline during the crosstown game Friday, Jan. 4, at West High. Glenn Moore/Tracy Press
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West High senior Hayden Ordone (left) pulls the rebound away from Tracy High junior Devin Foster during the crosstown game Friday, Jan. 4, at West High.  Glenn Moore/Tracy Press
West High senior Hayden Ordone (left) pulls the rebound away from Tracy High junior Devin Foster during the crosstown game Friday, Jan. 4, at West High. Glenn Moore/Tracy Press
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The West High Wolf Pack sank 12 3-pointers and shot 48 percent from behind the arc in a 78-64 home win over crosstown rival Tracy High on Friday, Jan. 4 at Steve Thornton Gymnasium.

The Bulldogs (4-11) started strong on offense by feeding the ball to junior Josh Brakkee, who was able to use his size and length to shoot 50 percent and score eight points in the paint.

Brakkee dropped a game-high 22 points, including a 8-for-10 mark from the free-throw line.

“When I got position it was easy and I knew what to do because that’s what we wanted to do, get the ball down low,” he said. “But they started double teaming me from the back and it was hard to tell what was going on.”

In the second quarter, the Wolf Pack (13-4) was able to speed up the tempo of the game by using a full-court press. West took advantage of its team speed by creating turnovers, which jumpstarted its potent transition offense.

West led 15-13 with six minutes, 57 seconds remaining in the second quarter before going on a seven-point run and gaining a 35-26 lead at halftime.

Junior K.J. Daye, who went 7-for-14 from the field and had 20 points for West, said the team focused on pressuring the ball handlers for Tracy.

“We played our hardest defense this game,” he said. “Coach told us that if we play defense we’ll win the game and the offense would be impossible to stop, and that’s what we did.”

During the game on offense, West drove the ball to the basket in the first half, an approach that opened shooting opportunities on the outside in the second half when the Tracy defense collapsed into the lane to protect the basket.

Senior Justin Saar scored a game-high 22 points on 8-for-13 shooting, including 3-for-5 from 3-point range.

The result was the Wolf Pack going 12-25 as a team from 3-point range in the game. Coach Derek Sprecksel said his team averages six to eight 3-pointers a game.

“We basically make reads and whatever the defense gives us, we’re going to take,” he said. “Obviously, we got a lot of corner 3-pointers and kicks to the corners that came from our transition offense when we increased the tempo.”

Tracy coach Genaro Cueva said his team “expected them to come out and press the whole game,” but that West’s speed and strong guard play on offense eventually overmatched the Bulldogs.

With 7:11 remaining in the fourth quarter, West led 69-45 and held its biggest lead of the game — a 24-point advantage over Tracy.

“They have a lot of athletes on the wings … and they have one or two of those guys who can knock it down but they had four or five tonight,” he said. “You can’t answer back when they are scoring 3s, because 3s will add up on you when they make four 3s in a row, and then that’s a 12-point run right there.”

Junior DeAndre Thomas had the hot hand behind the arc for West. He only shot the ball from distance and scored 12 points on 4-for-7 shooting.

“That’s kind of my shot, the way the offense works,” he said. “When the point guards come off the screen, you force the defense to help, and then you get an open 3-point shooter waiting to hit a shot, and that’s what I did today. I got hot after a while.”

Tracy travels to Stockton for a game on Jan. 9 against Franklin High at 7 p.m. West also plays in Stockton against McNair High at 7 p.m. on Jan. 9.

• Contact Joel Danoy at 830-4229 or jdanoy@tracypress.com
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