With just less than a minute left to play on Monday, Westminster High School boys basketball player Nick Ellison received a pass at the free throw line, turned and passed it under the basket to a wide open Dalton Myers, who threw down a powerful two-handed slam dunk, putting all hopes of a South Carroll comeback to rest.
“I didn’t think I was going to be that open,” said Myers, who led all scorers with 21 points, 12 of which came in the fourth quarter. “I just got up there.”
It was an emphatic way to cap a dominant fourth quarter for the visiting Owls. Their defense baffled the Cavaliers en route to a 55-41 win.
South Carroll, which led 22-20 at halftime, hurt itself in the second half with 19 turnovers. They passed the ball into the stands at times and were called frequently for traveling violations. The turnovers kept them from getting any kind of rhythm offensively.
“I’ll give them credit. They’re a little bit more aggressive than a lot of the teams we play,” South Carroll coach Doug Goff said. “We’re not used to as many teams trying to steal the ball. Some teams just play more safe and try to protect. They go for a lot of steals and we weren’t ready for that.”
Myers was unstoppable at times, especially in the fourth quarter. The 6-foot-7 senior was frequently in one-on-one situations late in the game and consistently finished his baskets. He scored 10 of Westminster’s first 12 points in the final quarter, giving it a six-point lead which never wavered.
“I tell you, sometimes when you have another [6-foot-8] guy playing alongside of you, he’s going to draw some attention,” said Westminster coach Stephen Byrnes, referring to Ellison, who scored eight points. “It’s kind of hard to guard both of them at the same time so we we’re trying to take advantage of that.”
When South Carroll ran its offense, it found ways to score. But they had trouble breaking Westminster’s press and at times looked rushed. Aside from Tyler Alcid (16 points) and Gavin McTavish (11), no player scored more than five points.
The Cavaliers made just one field goal in the fourth quarter and it came in the final minute of play. They scored eight points in the frame.
“The possessions we didn’t turn the ball over on, I thought we got really good, high-percentage shots,” Goff said. “There were a lot of times we didn’t even get into our offense because we already turned it over. ... There were too many times we didn’t get a shot.”
Westminster 55, South Carroll 41
Westminster 7 13 12 23 — 55
South Carroll 11 11 11 8 — 41
Westminster (14-2, 12-1): Dalton Myers 21, Deryk Kern 10, Nick Ellison 8, Devan Curet 7, Darius Clifton 3, Zach Meads 2, Connor Lulay 2, Nick Bullock 2.
South Carroll (9-6, 6-4): Tyler Alcid 16, Gavin McTavish 11, Philip Breno 5, Logan Cook 4, Matthew Breno 3, Jack Quinn 2