The West Jessamine boys’ basketball team picked up a big win Thursday night by defeating Dunbar 81-71.
The Colts recognized seniors Jeff Ziemann, Heath Jackson and DeShawn Eubanks prior to the game, and the seniors responded by helping West to its 17th win of the year. Ziemann put together a double-double with 13 points and 10 rebounds; he also had six assists. Jackson and Eubanks each scored six points.
“I told my assistants before the game, in all my years I’ve seen a lot of seniors come out on senior night and shoot the ball really well and I was willing to give them a little bit of freedom early to see,” West Jessamine coach Damon Kelley said. “Jeff (Ziemann) shot well Tuesday at Pulaski, and he shot well tonight, and that’s what we need out of him.” Ziemann shot 4-for-6 from the field and 4-for-5 from the free-throw line.
Dunbar started the season 16-4 but has since lost 10 straight. The Bulldogs took East Jessamine to overtime last week, but the Colts controlled the game most of the night and survived a late rally by the ’Dogs.
West looked to be well on its way to the win, holding a 69-59 lead with 3:46 remaining in the game. Four quick points brought Dunbar within six with three minutes to go, and it had trimmed the score to 71-70 with 1:39 remaining.
Daulton Peters scored on a driving layup, drew a foul and put West up 74-70 with the foul shot.
West hit 7-of-10 free-throw attempts in the final minute to win by 10.
The Colts and Bulldogs battled back and forth throughout the first quarter, but West closed the quarter on a 7-2 run capped off by a three-pointer by Fain to take a 20-15 lead after the first eight minutes.
West continued to hold a solid lead throughout the second period and once again closed out the quarter strong to expand the lead to 10 points heading into halftime.
The Colts’ three-point shooting helped carry them through the first half as they hit 6-of-9 from beyond the arc. Ziemann hit three of the treys, all in the first quarter.
The lead continued to expand in West’s favor during the third quarter. Dunbar got no closer than 10 points in the period, and West led by as many as 17 points.
The double-digit lead held through the three minutes of the fourth quarter before Dunbar began to chip away.
Peters finished with a team-high 26 points; Fain scored 14 points; Will Henderson scored 13 points and had three assists but turned the ball over six times.
Turnovers caused a bit of problem for West, especially late in the game. The Colts turned it over 22 times total and six times in the fourth quarter, which turned into 10 Dunbar points.
“I don’t know what to say about our turnovers,” Kelley said. “It’s been the only thing that’s consistent with us lately; we’re turning it over way too much, and it’s just carelessness, and that’s something we have to improve on very, very quickly or we won’t be around very long in the postseason because you can’t keep turning the ball over 20-22 times a game,” Kelley said.
Although the Bulldogs had some size on West, the Colts were able to control the boards 32-18.
“I’m happy we were able to send our seniors out with a win on senior night,” Kelley said.