Godwin Heights' speed and quickness too much for Wayland as the Wolverines win 63-56
Wyoming -- It was a contrast of size and speed in the Class B district final at Wyoming Godwin Heights on Friday.
Wayland Union came in with all the size, led by 6-foot-9 senior center Lacey James and 6-7 sophomore forward Zack Nieuwkoop.
Conversely the Wolverines had speed to burn, led by super senior forward Delaney Blaylock and sharp-shooting junior guard Leon Redd.
On this night speed and quickness won as Godwin Heights set the tempo on both sides of the court, and came away with a 63-56 victory.
Godwin Heights (21-1), a quarterfinalist last season, now advances to the Charlotte Regional.
"We had to embrace it, we knew they were going to score down low," Godwin Heights coach Tyler Whittemore said. "At times I thought our speed caused them trouble. That's how we play."
Wayland's game-plan was simple. The Wildcats came out and tried to pound the ball down low, and it worked as James and Nieuwkoop scored their team's first eight points.
On the other side the court, it was all running and shooting, especially from long distance for Godwin Heights.
Down 12-11 after one quarter, the Wolverines hit a pair of 3-pointers to open the second quarter to take the lead. And they hit two more in the second to take a 29-25 lead at halftime.
"That start of the second quarter was key," Whittemore said. "We shoot with confidence, whether the ball goes in our not. I never tell them not to shoot the basketball."
That's good, because the Wolverines didn't stop in the second half, but play turned more to a penetrating style for Godwin Heights.
Redd hit a couple of 3-pointers in the third quarter, but Godwin Heights' inside play began to come through, and the Wolverines were solid from the free throw line.
Godwin Heights was 9-for-12 on free throw attempts in the fourth quarter, led by senior forward Michael Williams, who was 5-6.
"I was happy with our effort," Whittemore said. "We knew this was going to be a battle right down to the end. But our job isn't done."
The season is for the Wildcats. Wayland finished 19-4.
"When we started to get comfortable with our play, they made a play with their speed," Wayland coach Mike Hudson said. ""They had a little more fire power than we did. And we didn't take care of the ball the way I wanted us to. And obvioulsy, their speed play a part in that."
James led all scorers with 26 points. Nieuwkoop followed with 11.
Redd led Godwin Heights with 17 points. Williams had 16 and Blaylock 11.