Loutas, Serpents strike Whittell
ZEPHYR COVE – Defeating the Hawthorne Serpents from here on out is going to thoroughly test the taskmasters.
Hawthorne worked Whittell High with an imposing inside-outside game, running away with the Northern 2A boys’ basketball game 68-38 on Wednesday night.
Junior Louie Loutas burned the Warriors from the perimeter with a game-high 20 points and eight assists, while 6-foot-5 senior Cade Cripps dissected Whittell’s interior defense for 18 points.
“They were big down low, they could shoot outside and they were smart with the ball,” said Whittell senior guard Nick Teply. “And they played their (butts) off on defense.”
The Serpents torched Whittell’s 2-3 zone defense from the outset, racing to a 21-2 lead late in the opening quarter. Loutas contributed two trifectas and a conventional three-point play to the run. A 10-foot baseline jump shot by Jeff Young with 25 seconds left stemmed an 18-point Serpent run.
Turnovers plagued Whittell as it struggled to convert against the Serpents’ 2-3 zone in the half court.
“We didn’t know how to react to it,” said Whittell coach Dennis Young.
Loutas wasn’t one dimensional. He repeatedly found Cripps rolling to the basket and Whittell didn’t have the size to stop him. Cripps scored six of his 11 first-half points in the second quarter, which ended with Hawthorne in front 36-11.
“Besides Rite of Passage I think they are the second-best team in our league,” coach Young said. “They are very well-coached and very disciplined.”
Whittell tried a more aggressive approach in the second half and were rewarded on both ends of the court. The Warriors played full-court man defense for most of the second half and were only outscored 32-27.
“I love playing full-court pressure defense, but it just wears us down,” Teply said. “It worked, maybe we should have went to it a little bit earlier.”
Jeff Young, who led the Warriors with 16 points, found his three-point stroke in the third quarter, pouring in three of them. His consecutive trifectas pulled the Warriors within 44-21 with 5:15 left in the third period.
Whittell only drew one point closer, 53-31, when Teply scored four unanswered points to open the final period.
“They hustled really well and they don’t give up,” said second-year Hawthorne coach Pete Summerbell.
Teply wore his relentless hustle on his knee and elbows, which were covered with bruises.
“Nick gives everything every night and sometimes he goes beyond,” coach Young said. “He’s not afraid to bang, and he’s like Jeff, they’re not afraid to fall on the floor.”
The loss further damaged Whittell’s chances of qualifying for the regional tournament. Whittell (0-7) must beat Lovelock (2-6) at home on Friday to remain in contention.
“If we work hard as a team, we’ll hopefully be able to make it to zone. That’s our goal,” Teply said.
HAWTHORNE 68, WHITTELL 38
HAWTHORNE (18-7, 6-2)
Cripps 7, 4-5, 18; Hofer 2, 5-6, 10; West 2, 0-0, 4; Loutas 7, 1-1, 20; Bajwa 5, 0-1, 10; Kleidosty 2, 0-0, 4; Schumann 1, 0-2, 2. Totals 26, 10-15, 68.
WHITTELL (3-18, 0-7)
Teply 3, 0-0, 6; Sabistina 2, 0-0, 4; Craig 1, 2-2, 4; Young 5, 2-3, 16; Hsiao 1, 1-2, 3; Sosa-Torres 1, 0-0, 2; Dominguez 0, 1-2, 1; Sinclair 1, 0-0, 2. Totals 14, 6-9, 34.
Hawthorne 21 15 17 15 – 68
Whittell 4 7 16 11 – 38
Three-pointers: Loutas 5, Hofer; Young 4. Fouls: Whittell 12, Hawthorne 8.
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