The Westhill boys basketball team played an excellent second half on both ends of the court and shut down the state Class B no. 4-ranked Hannibal Warriors 67-51 Tuesday night at Westhill.
Hannibal (10-1. 16-2) suffered its first OHSL Liberty conference defeat of the season with the loss and saw their 10-game winning streak come to an end.
Westhill was outplayed in the first two quarters as Hannibal was in complete control. They were hitting their outside shots, thanks in large part to junior Jeff LaMont who hit four 3-pointers and went off for 19 first-half points, and were getting the ball inside to 6-6 star center Chad Burridge.
Burridge slammed home an alley-oop late in the second quarter to give his team an eight point edge and the momentum was on Hannibal's side.
Westhill has no answer for either one of the players and trailed 33-25 at the half. Of Hannibal's 33 points, LaMont and Burridge combined for 31 of them.
After being completely dominated in the opening half, Westhill (5-4, 12-4) regrouped at halftime and came out looking like a different team. A team that was ready to accomplish what no other team in the Liberty conference has been able to do all season - take down the Hannibal giant.
The reason Westhill got back in the game was because of their defensive pressure. Guards Matt Noonan and Mike Stirpe blanketed the Hannibal shooters, never letting them get off a clean look and smothered Burridge down low.
Westhill sophomore Dan Ross also did an excellent job of fronting the much bigger Burridge and denied him the ball for most of the second half.
"We just kept up the defense and didn't let up," Noonan said. "In the second half, we just poured it on. We picked up the pressure and tried to get them a little rattled and then came down on offense and hit some big shots."