CROWN POINT - The Warriors hung with Westport through two quarters, but it was the Eagles who would prevail in the MVAC boys basketball championship Feb. 19.
Bo McKinley knocked down four treys and shot 12-of-14 from the line as his 38 points powered the Eagles to a 72-62 win over Division I leading Willsboro. Meanwhile, Nathan Gay scored 23 to go with 15 rebounds and five assists to help Westport to its second straight MVAC title.
Willsboro came out strong against the Eagles, going shot-for-shot until Westport went on a 8-0 run to finish the quarter. Still, the Warriors climbed back, tying the game at 32 before giving up five points to Westport in the final minute of the second quarter.
"Willsboro played strong," said Westport head coach Brad Rascoe. "They came out and tried to out-hustle us and tried to outplay us. They take the ball to the basket well."
Alex Hamel scored 22 and grabbed nine rebounds to lead the effort for Willsboro. Lucas Strong added 15 and Alex Shepard pulled down 10 boards.
The third quarter proved to be a turning point, however as the Eagles exploded for 25 points, all while holding Willsboro to just nine. McKinley scored 12 in the third and Gay added eight.
"You can contain them for a little bit, but you can't usually contain them for the whole game," Rascoe said of his two leading scorers. "I think we played defense much stronger in the second half. We were better prepared and we played better team ball."
"Westport got the momentum and everything was going their way," said Willsboro head coach Jim Spring. "They're undefeated; they're a good team, and I hope to see them in sectionals."
Willsboro made their own surge in the fourth quarter, cutting Westport's lead to single digits before the Eagles pulled away for the win.
"We moved the ball pretty well on offense for most of the game," said Spring, "and our young kids coming off the bench played well."
As for Westport, they now look to defend their other title from last year; that of Section VII Class D champions.
"We're going to take things one game at a time and see what we come up with," Rascoe said.
Westport 72, Willsboro 62
1 2 3 4 - F
Willsboro 11 21 9 21 - 62
Westport 18 19 25 10 - 72
Bertrand 2-0-4, Sherman 2-0-4, Cross 1-0-3, Shepard 3-0-6, Strong 4-5-15, Hamel 9-1-22, Pierce 1-0-2, Drinkwine 0-0-0, Sayward, 2-0-4. Totals: 24-6-62.
Russell 0-0-0, Quaglietta 0-0-0, McKinley 11-12-38, Ware 0-1-1, Stahl 2-0-5, Stevens 2-1-5, Gay 9-5-23. Totals: 24-19-72.
3-pointers: Willsboro (6): Strong 3; Hamel 2; Cross. Westport (5): McKinley 4; Stahl.