When the West Jessamine boys shifted into another gear in the second half Tuesday night, Boyle County just couldn’t keep up.
The Colts left the Rebels behind by scoring 13 straight points in the third and fourth quarters and went on to a 69-55 victory at Rebel Arena.
They put up some impressive offensive numbers along the way, shooting 56 percent from the field in the second half. And they got a big game from Chase Fain, who had 30 points, including nine points during the 13-0 run, and a season-high 16 rebounds.
But coach Damon Kelley said it was defense that drove the engine and allowed West to leave Boyle behind.
“Our defense stepped up, and we were able to get out and get some easy baskets in transition,” Kelley said.
West (14-7) forced 20 turnovers by Boyle (13-7), including 12 in the second half, to snap the Rebels’ eight-game winning streak. The Colts scored 27 points off turnovers, seven of them during the decisive run.
Fain fueled that run with one transition basket after another, two of which were off his own steals, to stretch West’s lead to 53-38 with 6:17 remaining.
He went 7-for-11 from the field in the second half and was 12-for-22 overall, including 4-for-6 from three-point range.
“He’s a nice player. You could make an argument for him as the best player in the region,” Boyle coach Steve Adams said. “He’s as nice a player as we’ve gone against all year.”
Boyle led by seven points early in the second half but lost that lead within two minutes, then went scoreless for a span of 4:48 to fall off the pace. The Rebels had only one field goal in 8:27 as West pushed its lead to 61-41.
“Boyle’s a nice team, and this is a tough place to play, and I thought our kids responded in the third quarter and went on a nice run,” Kelley said. “It’s never easy to win on the road, and Boyle’s a team that will be there in the region. Hopefully we’ll be in a position to be able to see them again.”
Boyle scored exactly the same number of points it has averaged this season but gave up 17 more than its average of 52 points allowed per game — the lowest mark in the 12th Region.
West trailed 29-26 following a first half that featured 11 lead changes, but the Colts turned the tables by going 19-for-34 from the field in the second half.
“We were playing together, working around for good shots instead of throwing up the first thing we saw,” Kelley said.
That didn’t happen right away, as the Colts went scoreless for the first 1:49 of the third quarter while Boyle’s Aram Martin and Brett Jones scored on consecutive trips to give the Rebels their largest lead at 33-26.
West answered with nine straight points, taking a 35-33 lead on a three-point basket by Daulton Peters, who finished with 18 points and nine rebounds.
Boyle tied the game once more before a basket by Will Henderson put the Colts in front to stay and a three-point play by Fain gave them a 40-35 lead with four minutes left in the third period. The Rebels then closed to within 40-38 before West began to pull away.
“We missed a couple of easy shots, and it looked like we lost a little energy and didn’t guard. We gave up more wide-open layups and 15-footers tonight,” Adams said. “We didn’t grind it out. Maybe that wore on them a little bit. Plus, West Jessamine’s pretty good.”
Robby Irgang had eight points for the Colts. Fain had four steals, and he and Peters blocked two shots each.
Hagen Tyler led Boyle with 25 points, going 14-for-17 at the free-throw line.
The Rebels got more than one-third of their points at the foul line, where they were 19-for-27 and West was 4-for-7.
West Jessamine goes on the road Friday to try for a 6-0 sweep of the 46th District, something it has never done. The Colts will face East Jessamine on Friday night at 7:45 p.m. West beat the Jags 98-63 on Jan. 4.