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Mason Westlake leads the way as North boys basketball team avenges loss to Poly

By in Press Enterprise on February 2, 2018

By Eric-Paul Johnson

RIVERSIDE >> North’s boys basketball didn’t need to search far for motivation Thursday evening.

It was alumni night at J-Dub, so the gym was tightly packed with familiar faces, past and present. And the opponent on this night was crosstown rival Riverside Poly, which successfully defended its home court and snapped a 10-game losing skid to the Huskies when they faced off last month.

North never trailed and had a double-digit lead five minutes into the game. Mason Westlake had the hottest hand throughout the night, draining seven 3-points and finishing with 37 points as the Huskies cruised to a 79-50 victory to remain tied for first place in the Inland Valley League.

North had no trouble controlling the tempo, a stark contrast from that 49-47 loss to the Bears.

“The first time we played Poly, we were extremely apprehensive,” North coach Mike Bartee said. “We play a certain style of basketball and didn’t that night. We needed to play this one our way.”

In that first meeting with Poly, North scored 17 points in the first half and its final total was a season low. Thursday night, the Huskies needed only six minutes to get 17 points on the board.

Westlake and Melvin “Deuce” Walker combined for 25 points during the first half, helping North take a 36-17 lead into the locker room at halftime. Poly often was its own worst enemy, turning the ball over 11 times in the first half while only making 5 of 14 shots at the free-throw line.

“You know when you look in a mirror and everything is reversed? That’s what happened tonight,” Poly coach Yancy Dodson said. “We made so many uncharacteristic mistakes tonight. Some of the credit goes to North for that. I’m sure they felt the same way when we beat them last time.”

Poly (19-6, 6-2 in […]    

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