Westlake Claims SWC Basketball Title


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It came down to one night – the final game of the Southwestern Conference season.
But the Westlake High boys basketball team now has a championship they can cherish forever.
The Demons staged a stirring comeback in a rollicking Westlake High home gym to top Olmsted Falls, 69-63.
The win left the Demons with a 12-2 SWC record and a share of the SWC title. Brecksville staged a dramatic final-night victory in overtime over Avon Lake to also finish league play with a 12-2 mark.
The Demons and Bees split their two games this year. Westlake ends the regular season with a very fine 18-2 overall mark.
The celebration was on as Olmsted Falls championship contest ended. Fans poured from the stands. The jubilant Demons celebrated at mid-court, where they donned brand-new “SWC champs” T-shirts that had been pre-printed in anticipation of the victory.
The win caps a huge regular season for Westlake under the direction of first-year head coach Shawn Hood.
“I feel like I have been with these boys for as long as coaches Considine and Fazekas have, which is since they started playing organized ball,” said Hood, a former Cleveland State University star.
It was a win that was still in doubt at halftime. Falls had rolled up 23-11 after one quarter. Westlake, finding its composure through the second eight minutes, tied things at the half. The Demons then controlled both the tempo and their destiny after the intermission as they clinched the coveted SWC crown.
Still, the very competitive Falls team continued to battle and even held a slim 45-44 lead in the third quarter. Westlake finally took control as Azzat Assad hit a pair of free throws and junior Bryan Mackenzie followed with a full court breakaway bucket to give the Demons some breathing space.
Mackenzie led the Demons with 18 points, while Shawn Turk was also in doubles with 14. 6-8 sophomore Gavin Skelly was huge in the middle, scoring 13 points and hauling in 12 rebounds. Grant Gase showed Westlake’s depth with nine points and nine rebounds.
“Before I started to pursue this coaching opportunity, coaches Considine and Fazekas talked about all the wonderful times they had with these boys and their parents,” continued Hood.
“My coaches love these boys and I feel the love every time they speak of them. Part of my emotion has to do with the joy I saw on the faces of our seniors as we began to separate themselves from the average teams.
“If I could have kids like these seniors every year, I could see myself coaching for another 20 years,” said Hood.
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