GALLOWAY, Ohio -- In a non-league matchup against rival Central Crossing (0-9), Westland (2-9) picked up its second win in the last three games, relying on great pressure defense and smooth ball movement in a 61-47 win.
The Cougars were never really in trouble, jumping out to an early lead and never looking back. Westland was playing with visibly more confidence since their big win over Groveport last week, taking their time on offense by moving the ball and finding the open man. We were really impressed with the trio of juniors Sohn McGee and Drew Panning and senior Derrick Bogay, all of which provided excellent energy.
Getting everyone involved on offense, Westland got great production from the entire lineup, as Hamse Abib, Bryan Collins and Mikey Dingess all contributed made three-point field goals.
While Dingess led all Cougar scorers with 17 points, Dingess was the story on Tuesday, as he knocked down four three-point field goals and scored a career-high 16 points. McGee pitched in 11 points and a handful of assists and blocks.
For Central Crossing, the Comets were led almost entirely by senior Jeremy Burns, who scored a game-high 22 points. Burns showed off a smooth offensive game, scoring on every level and hitting four threes.
Westland will look to keep winning as the Cougars host their next four opponents at home, starting with Pickerington North on Friday.
The Comets will look to notch their first win this weekend when they take on Pickerington Central and Groveport in back-to-back days of OCC-Buckeye play.
Derrick Bogay (6'3 WF / Westland / 2021): Bogay is a senior who plays with infectious energy, as his motor and effort on the defensive end of the floor helped turn the tide in the second half. Bogay was everywhere defensively, coming up with several steals, blocks, putbacks and more. Offensively, Bogay is a very athletic and strong wing that lives at the free throw line with his ability to draw contact. Bogay knocked down a couple close range jumpers and finished strong around the basket in transition. The senior leads by example, as his energy, motor and effort clearly rubs off on his teammates, as Westland had their best chemistry from all five players on the floor to the end of the bench that we've seen in years. It takes unselfish veteran players like Bogay doing the dirty work and making others better for things like that to happen.
Jeremy Burns (6'0 G / Central Crossing / 2021): Burns put on a scoring clinic on Tuesday, torching Westland for 22 of his team's 47 points. The 6-foot guard is a smooth shooting guard that knocked down four threes, showed the ability to beat defenders off the bounce, and even showed off some craftiness finishing around the rim. Burns moves really well without the ball, as he knows how to set up cuts and free himself for easy looks. On a Central Crossing team that didn't have many offensive threats outside of him, Burns still played a highly efficient game and took great shots, knocking down four catch and shoot triples, while hitting a couple mid-range jumpers off the dribble. Burns is a legitimate small college prospect who can really score it, as we were impressed with his IQ and feel for the game. While Central Crossing may be really struggling this season, college programs should give Burns a look as he was the best scorer on the floor on Tuesday.
Sohn McGee (6'5 PG / Westland / 2022): McGee is a player that keeps improving by the game and shows us more of what he can do. Tonight, he was very impactful attacking off the bounce and finding open teammates with crisp passing. The 6-foot-5 junior guard has a high IQ and is really improving rapidly as a decision maker. Getting to his spots and taking good shots on Tuesday, McGee was a force finishing around the rim, as he took advantage of smaller defenders on the block. As a passer, McGee pushed the ball ahead in transition and find open shooters all game long. Defensively, McGee is a bit of a game wrecker, as he can defend smaller guards on the perimeter but is equally effective as a rim protector, as he had two major blocks near the basket. If he can improve his outside shooting, McGee has a chance to develop into a really intriguing two-way prospect with his length, athleticism and feel for the game.
Isaiah Bridges (6'6 PF / Central Crossing / 2022): Getting our first look at Bridges on Tuesday, we were impressed with some of the flashes he showed as a rim protector. The 6-foot-6 forward has great length and can really impose his will when his motor is running, which was not always the case on Tuesday. When Bridges was engaged and playing hard, he blocked three shots, had a close range lay in and knocked down a mid-range jumper on the baseline. Bridges still needs to polish his offensive game, as he looked a little hesitant to attack the basket at times, however, he is impactful right now as a rebounder and rim protector. If Bridges improves his motor and gives 100 percent effort on both ends for full games, he would become a much more productive big man, which would greatly help this Comets program.
Mikey Dingess (6'0 G / Westland / 2021): Dingess had a career night on Tuesday, hitting four threes and going for 16 points. The 6-foot guard provides great energy for this team, as he is a bit of a sparkplug for the Cougars when his shots are falling. Dingess has a quick trigger on the perimeter, as he was deadly from the left corner where he hit three of his four triples. If Dingess can provide consistent scoring to compliment Westland's trio of McGee, Drew Panning and Bogay, the Cougars will be much more competitive in the latter stretch of the season.