By Andre Phillips
On Dec. 11 the Mound Westonka boys basketball team won an important game (73-55) against local rival and section opponent Orono. At the half, the White Hawks only held a 34-28 lead, but hot shooting from the 3-point line (13/26) propelled the White Hawks’ second half burst.
Mound Westonka was led in scoring by: junior Jameson Sexton, 21 points; junior Calvin Mackell, 13 points; senior Nico Phommahaxay, 10 points; and sophomore Logan Leonard, 10 points. Defensively, the White Hawks pressured the Spartans into 13 turnovers and 7/25 shooting from the 3-point line.
The White Hawks headed out to West St. Paul on Dec. 14 for their first road game of the season to take on a young but talented Crusaders squad. St. Croix Lutheran jumped out to an early 19-9 lead, but the White Hawks stormed back with a 13-2 run to take a 1-point lead. The Crusaders hit a buzzer-beater 3-pointer going into halftime to hold a 31-27 lead.
The momentum continued into the second half for St. Croix Lutheran with hot shooting from the 3-point line. With 10 minutes to go, the White Hawks were staring at an 8-point deficit. Then sophomore Santi Phommahaxay and junior Isaiah Dempsey ignited a 12-0 run of ferocious on-ball defense and quick pace offense. Mound Westonka never looked back the rest of the game, holding the Crusaders to 13 points over the final 10 minutes for a final of 66-61. The White Hawks improved to 4-1 on the season. They play at South St. Paul on Thursday, Dec. 20.