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Wildcats split region games after emotional week
By Kennington Smith
Whitewater Class of 2013
It's been a rough week at Whitewater to say the least. After three former students got into a horrific car accident the beloved assistant basketball coach Noah Chalkley passed away on the eve of a big game against Northgate. The school was in a state of shock and sorrow, but the players decided to play the game in honor of their fallen coach.
Both sides of the stands were packed to capacity to support the players, coaches, and the Chalkley family. The game started off slow for both teams but soon the Wildcats pulled away. Senior Darius Sharpe took over the game on the offensive end, hitting shot after shot. Fellow senior guard Junaid Olusesi was instrumental on the defensive end as he was disrupting Northgate's passing lanes all night and the Wildcats lead by double digits at the half.
In the second half Northgate made a run but it was too late, Junior Phillip Cofer made plays on both the offensive and the defensive end and Sharpe made the clinching free throws that gave Whitewater an emotional 57-53 victory. Olusesi lead the team with 11 points 5 rebounds and 3 steals. The Lady Cats also won 58-22, Sophomore phenom Jada Coggins had 12 points and 7 rebounds in her season debut.
Last night, the Wildcats traveled to play the ninth ranked McIntosh Chiefs. Those who expected to see a McIntosh blowout were pleasantly surprised to see a highly competitive game that went down to the wire.
The game started sour for the Wildcats, sloppy offensive play lead to easy fast-break points and open shots for the Chiefs, and the Cats were down by six at the end of the first quarter. In the second quarter however the Wildcats caught fire, behind the sharp shooting of Darius Sharpe and the inspired bench play of junior Justin Simpson-James the Wildcats rallied to lead by three points at the half.
In the second half the game went back and forth. Every time a team would score the other would match it point for point. Sharpe and Olusesi took over the game for the Wildcats and they held the lead until the last two minutes of the game. After that it was all McIntosh.
The Chiefs made the necessary shots when the Wildcats couldn't and won 60-55. Olusesi finished with 13 points 7 rebounds and 3 steals, Sharpe had 20 points, and Simpson-James added six points and six rebounds.
The Lady Cats also lost 55-41.
They will be in action again on Friday at Creekside.