Even in victory, defeat was a hot topic last night for Westfield after the Bulldogs beat South Lakes in a Northern Region boys' basketball tournament first-round game at Westfield.
Westfield was more eager to discuss Saturday's 35-point blowout loss to Herndon in the AAA Concorde District final and how that motivated it to beat the Seahawks, 55-49, and end the storied, 23-year coaching career of South Lakes' Wendell Byrd.
"I almost felt like I had to apologize to Coach Byrd after the game," Westfield Coach Doug Ewell said. "I know everyone's going to hate me for beating him, ending his career, but I'll take the win."
Byrd won 441 games and six Northern Region titles at South Lakes. He decided before the start of the season that this would be his last.
"You try to prepare for what your last game is going to be like, but you can't," Byrd said. "We've got a lot of great juniors coming back, so it's really tough, but I'm happy with the decision."
South Lakes (16-7) fell behind 9-1 and never pulled even. Five times in the fourth quarter, the Seahawks were down three points with the ball, but they managed just three shots during those possessions and no points.
"Saturday's loss was a reality check for us," said Bulldogs forward Mike Glennon, who scored six of his 12 points in the opening quarter. "That wasn't Westfield basketball, but we got untracked tonight."
Maurice Hubbard led the Bulldogs (18-7) with 15 points. His hustle on the offensive glass, especially in the first half when he scored three times on putbacks, was indicative of his team's effort.
Junior guard Curtis Keys led the Seahawks with 22 points and senior guard Monte Smith added 11 off the bench.
"They out-hustled us on the boards," Smith said. "Coach Byrd coached a great game. I'm sorry to see that it had to end tonight."
In the first game, the Westfield girls ended a two-year streak of losing in the first round of the region tournament with a 46-40 win over McLean (12-13).
The Highlanders led 30-27 with 2 minutes 28 seconds left in the third quarter, but the Bulldogs (20-6) scored the next nine points to take control.
Going Fourth: Westfield junior center Lauren Krizay scored a team-high 10 points, including four points during a critical stretch early into the fourth quarter to help the Bulldogs grab the lead for good in the first game.
Up Next:Westfield's boys' and girls' teams travel to T.C. Williams for a doubleheader tonight in the quarterfinals of the Northern Region tournament.