BOYS HOOPS: The Bruins carry a double-digit lead through most of the second half

PMG PHOTO: DAVID BALL - Barlows Jesse White put up a game-high 23 points in Saturdays 54-43 second-round win over Westview.

Second-round playoff

Team Score
#6 Barlow Bruins
Westview Wildcats

A quick start to the second half powered the Barlow boys basketball team to a 54-43 second-round win over Westview in Saturday's 6A playoffs.

Jaren Hunter took a dribble into the lane and found teammate Joey Wolcott in the corner for an open 3-pointer. On the Bruins' next trip, Jesse White dribbled behind the basket and whipped a pass to the top of the arc where Wolcott sank another triple.

Moments later, White got loose for a lunging layup, and Hunter found Wolcott on a back-cut to the basket for another easy two.

Barlow's four-point halftime lead had grown to a commanding 34-22 margin just minutes into the third quarter.

"Jesse and Evan (Inglesby) were drawing a lot of attention and it just kinda happened," Wolcott said. "We are a veteran group that is used to close games, so we stayed pretty composed."

The Bruins would carry a double-digit lead most of the rest of the way.

Late in the third quarter, Hunter poked a ball loose and got out on the dribble before sending a pass into the lane for Josh Nomie, who then shifted the ball across one more time to White for an easy finish.

PMG PHOTO: DAVID BALL - Barlows Joey Wolcott looks to move along the baseline ahead of Westviews Jalen Grable during the Bruins 54-43 playoff win Saturday.

The Bruins helped themselves out late in the third when White poked away a steal, sidestepped a nearby Wildcat and sent the ball ahead to Wolcott, who drew a foul. The turnover did not produce any points, but more importantly it saddled Westview's Brady Grier with his fourth foul. The 6-foot-5 center played limited minutes down the stretch before fouling out with 1:33 to play.

Barlow started the fourth in familiar fashion with Inglesby finding Wolcott open in the corner for a 3.

On their next trip, the Bruins took more than a minute off the clock before Hunter found Josh Nomie in the lane for an underhand scoop shot.

Barlow sealed the game when they took 109 ticks off the clock, repeatedly driving into the lane before kicking the ball back out to the perimeter. Westview eventually fouled to stop the clock with 2:05 to play.

"The fourth quarter was all about taking care of the ball and clock management," White said. "We were told not to force shots. We tried driving a few times, but it wasn't there, so we kicked it back out."

The Wildcats grabbed a missed free throw, but promptly whipped a pass clean out of bounds giving it back to Barlow.

London Smalley sank a pair of free throws to bring Westview within 48-41 with 1:17 to play, but that was as much of a threat as Barlow would face in the second half.

Inglesby drew a pair of defenders in the backcourt before unleashing a deep pass to the far corner of the floor that left Nomie two steps for a finishing layup. White swished four straight free throws in the final minute to finish the scoring.

White finished with a game-high 23 points while Wolcott added 15. Jamison led the Wildcats with 20 points.

PMG PHOTO: DAVID BALL - Barlows Evan Inglesby moves down the floor on a fastbreak.

Barlow returns to the Chiles Center for the second time in three years and will face No. 3 Jefferson in the 6:30 p.m. quarterfinal game Thursday.

"It's been one of our goals since the start of the season, but we aren't happy with just that. It's more like we can take a deep breath now," White said. "We need to keep winning to get to where we want to go."

Barlow took an early 9-6 lead when Nomie pokes a ball loose and quickly looked up the floor where he found White streaking toward the far basket for an easy two. A couple trips later, White ripped a ball loose and took it to the hoop himself.

The lead continued to grow in the second quarter when Connor Hills found White cutting through the lane. White switched hands in mid-air and finished a three-point play off the glass.

Westview inbounded the ball, and White caught a Wildcat looking up the floor with a high dribble. He pounced in for a steal and took two dribbles to the basket for a finish and a 20-11 lead.

"Those steals come down to anticipation," White said. "Coach is always emphasizing getting some easy ones along the way."

View photos at ...

WESTVIEW 10 10 11 12 — 43

BARLOW 15 9 17 13 — 54

Westview (43) — Wayne Jamison 20, Smalley 10, Grable 7, Grier 4, Grady 2, Whitaker, Coalson, Batish.

Barlow (54) — Jesse White 23, Wolcott 15, Nomie 8, Inglesby 7, Weber 1, Hills, Hunter.

This story is scheduled for our Tuesday, March 10, print edition.

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