The Spencer Greenwave are on top for the first time in school history with a dominating defensive performance in the state title game against Westover by a score of 62-42.
The two teams got off to a slow start finishing the first quarter with a 7-7 tie. The Greenwave looked as though it might end the game early with a 13-0 run capped by a Tycen McDaniels alley-oop.
From the 4:33 mark of the first quarter to the 2:27 mark of the second quarter, Spencer held Westover scoreless. But Westover would respond scoring nine points over the final two minutes of the first half to pull back within four points at the break as Spencer led 20-16.
Coming out of the half it looked as though Spencer might be letting its championship slip away as Westover stormed out to a lead going up 26-23. Once again it was the defense stepping up for the Greenwave.
Spencer would go on a massive run to finish the game outscoring Westover 39-16 over the final quarter and a half with many of Westover’s points coming when the game was out of reach.
The run started with a series of steals, held balls and blocks to help get Spencer additional positions but also get the offense out on the fastbreak.
Once the Greenwave got out on the run, the offense started to click going from shooting under 26% at one point in the second half to finishing above 44% from the field.
The win was Spencer’s 28th in a row and the most important of them all as the team brings home its first state title.
Spencer defense: In the playoffs, no team scored more than 42 points against the Greenwave’s defense. It was clearly the identity of this basketball team all season long and one that was on full display against Westover.
The defense held Westover to long scoreless stretches in both halves before the Greenwave’s offense got clicking to pull away for good.
The defense gave up fewer than 15 points in every quarter and held Westover to just 16 points in the first half and 26 in the second. In the second half alone. Spencer scored as many points as the Patriots did in the entire game.
Tycen McDaniels, Spencer forward: McDaniels epitomized Spencer’s performance as a whole. He didn’t shoot well for much of the game but he finished with 11 points including a pair of key dunks off of turnovers to change the course of the game.
But it was McDaniels effort on the glass and on defense that stood. He nearly got a double-double as he grabbed nine rebounds. But his five blocks set the tone on the defensive end.
Randall Dixon, Spencer guard: He led the team in scoring with 12 points as the senior guard goes out on top as a champion. In a game defined by the defense, it was Dixon’s output on the offensive end in the form of timely buckets that helped power the Greenwave to its first title.
This story was originally published March 9, 2022 9:43 PM.