HANCEVILLE — East Limestone put up a fight, but could not parallel Wenonah in the Northwest Regional Class 5A boys semifinal game, falling 87-56.
The Indians (19-13) opened scoring with four points from the paint, but tumbled quickly and never came back.
East Limestone coach Chad Drake boiled it down to size and athleticism.
“It’s just hard for high school kids to match up with. It’s like a small college or junior college out there. I’d love to have that size,” Drake said, laughing. “Who wouldn’t?”
The Dragons (32-2) thrived with four players in double-digit scoring. De’Runnya Wilson had a double-double, leading Wenonah with 19 points and 12 boards. Isaiah Maston scored 18 points, while Marcus Williams had 13 and Justin Coleman added 10.
“When you get here in a high school setting, and my biggest player is six-three and you’re going against six-eleven, six-nine, it’s hard to ask these kids to do the best that they possibly can to keep these kids off of the boards,” Drake continued. “It’s just matchup problems.”
Wenonah scaled the basket left and right, with back to back dunks in the second quarter from Wilson and Maston. After leading 43-28 at half, Maston returned to the game with a trio of three-point baskets to open the half on a 17-2 scoring run.
“I told Justin, ‘You’re down 27. Just keep fighting,’” Maston said. “You just got to keep that mentality. You just have to keep your foot on the pedal and keep pushing. No lead is a good lead. Just play till the end.”
Jordon Gandy kept rolling for East Limestone, with a game-high 25 points. Gandy was singled out by Wenonah, but said the pressure was no more intense than from other teams he faced this year.
“We couldn’t contain him, but luckily no one else got hot on us,” Wenonah coach Cedric Lane said. “I think he’s one of the better shooters around here. He has a real good shot, good elevation on the shot, he’s able to score from a lot of places.”
Gandy, the only East Limestone player in double-digits, added nine rebounds, while Adam Saylor caught eight off the glass. Wenonah scored 29 points off the Indians’ 29 turnovers.
“We had a long season. It was good to play a team like this,” Gandy said. “I would have liked to go further if we had a chance to, but I guess that’s just life.”
Wenonah advances to play Parker in the Class 5A Northwest Regional boys finals at 10:40 a.m. Friday.
Meredith Qualls can be reached at 256-340-2395 or email@example.com.
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