KINNIKINNICK — It had been a struggle for much of the preseason for the Westfall boys basketball team to fully grasp a new offense.
But first-year coach Christian Meister felt good coming into the season-opener on Friday against McClain after seeing the light bulb go off for the Mustangs earlier in the week.
“We really struggled in our scrimmages of running our new system, because our kids were so worried about where they had to be in our motion offense,” Meister said. “About three-to-four days ago, it finally clicked for us where the kids knew where they needed to be and didn’t have to think so much.
“Once we got to that point, I just told the kids to come today and play hard, play fast and impose their will.”
The Mustangs imposed their will with a big second quarter and went on to post a 59-45 win over the Tigers in the Zane Trace Tip-Off Classic.
“I told the kids after the game that we still made a lot of mistakes that we’ll continue to work on, but when they play with the type of energy and effort they did today that we can overcome some of those things,” Meister said. “I’m excited for our kids to get the season off to a good start, but I’m even more excited for what can be ahead of us if we continue on this pace.”
Jay Wyman led the Mustangs with 20 points, Hayden Lemaster followed with 18 and Luke Blackburn added 14.
“I know we have more than three guys who are capable of scoring like that, but it was nice to see those three step up and lead us today,” Meister said. “Obviously, people know about Jay and how he has filled it up for awhile now here at Westfall.
“Luke Blackburn is one of the hardest working kids I’ve ever met in my life. He’s undersized, but he’s very athletic and does a nice job of moving side-to-side. Hayden was one of the players that really benefited from our culture change and I’ve worked to build a relationship with him. Hayden plays hard, he plays good defense and does a lot of the little things that build his confidence so he can also finish on the other end of the court.”
The Mustangs entered the second quarter with an 11-9 lead and expanded that advantage to 30-18 entering halftime.
Wyman had a huge quarter for the Mustangs, burying a trio of three-pointers en route to 11 points, and Lemaster chipped in eight points, including hitting a pair of triples.
Blackburn scored nine points in the third quarter, and Lemaster and Wyman each tacked on four more, as the Mustangs added two more points to their advantage.
Bryson Badgley posted a game-high 21 points for McClain (0-1).
The Mustangs (1-0) are back in action today at Washington Court House (0-1) and then entertain Logan Elm on Tuesday for their home-opener.