Friday night’s Watson Chapel-Hope boys contest had all the makings of a trap game for the Wildcats.
It’d have been easy for Chapel to stumble coming off a win over Hot Springs — led by former Wildcat assistant Rodney Echols — and having rival White Hall next on the schedule.
Even Chapel head coach Matt Busch was worried.
“I was more worried about us having a hangover after beating Hot Springs,” he said. “… Our guys really wanted to win that one.
“I wasn’t as worried about the White Hall game. I mean, it’s big for the kids and it’s big to me, but I didn’t hear anything about it all week.”
As it turned out, Busch was worried for nothing.
Chapel used a stifling defense and all five starters scored nine-plus points in a dominating 60-37 home win over Hope to keep the Wildcats unbeaten in 5A-South Conference play.
Chapel’s starters totaled 54 points, but Busch thought the player of the game was the guy who scored the other six.
“I thought Greg Vaughn came in and did a phenomenal job,” Busch said. “He paid attention to the scouting report and did everything we wanted him to do.
“I thought he was the difference in what allowed us to make our run.”
With Hope (10-5, 3-2 in 5A-South) leading 4-0, Busch brought the 6-foot-4 senior off the bench and Chapel finished the first quarter on a 12-0 run.
The Wildcats (14-3, 5-0) didn’t cool off in the second quarter as they outscored the Bobcats 14-6 in the period to take a 26-10 halftime lead.
“I can’t say enough about what Greg did,” Busch said. “Every year since I got here, I think Greg’s grown another inch. I think he’s finally grown into his body.
“This is the first year’s he gotten significant minutes, but he always works hard and he doesn’t pout.
“I can honestly say, since I’ve been here I’ve never had a problem with him.”
Vaughn had four points in the first half, equaling the production of Chapel’s starting post players Xavier Young and Ben Marcus.
The duo came alive in the second half, though, as Hope, which was led by Kenneth Thompson’s 12 points, tried to come back.
Marcus scored 12 of his game-high 14 points after halftime, while 10 of Young’s 12 came after the break.
Leonard Robinson joined them in double-figures with 10, and Tevin Brown and C.J. Robinson added nine points apiece for the well-round Chapel attack.
“That’s been a year-long thing,” Busch said. “I think we have like four guys averaging over 10 points a game.”
Watson Chapel 61, Hope 21
The Watson Chapel girls held Hope to single-digits in every quarter en route to a 61-21 blowout win on Friday night.
The Lady Wildcats held quarter leads of 21-6, 39-14 and 53-16.
Oshianna Pree and Jasmyne Farris led Hope (2-12, 0-5 in 5A-South) with four points apiece.
Peyton Martin’s 11 points led a balanced attack for Chapel (8-9, 3-2). Megan Moore and Kierra Cox each scored nine points, while Morgan Monk and Timesha Cole added eight points apiece.