Dynamic duo powers West to win over O'Fallon

News-DemocratFebruary 7, 2014 

— With the start of the Class 4A postseason less than two weeks away, Belleville West coach Clayton Fisher is looking for more consistency from the Maroons.

On Thursday at the O'Fallon Panther Dome, Fisher settled for a win.

Junior guards Shay Fluker and Imani Berry combined for 46 points as West survived a miserable performance from the foul line to defeat O'Fallon 63-51 in a Southwestern Conference game.

Leading 17-11 after one quarter, West (16-7) took advantage of eight O'Fallon turnovers in the second period and built an 18-point lead before the Panthers cut their deficit to 11 at halftime.

O'Fallon (11-10) closed to within eight points twice in the fourth quarter. But West, led by Fluker (28 points) and Berry (18) was able to make enough free throws down the stretch.

The Maroons, coming off recent SWC losses at Edwardsville and Alton, made just 24-of-48 attempts from the foul line.

The win, although not pretty, followed a familiar script for the Maroons at O'Fallon, according to Fisher.

"Sloppy. That's the best way to put it. For some reason, we've never played that well here,'' Fisher said. "Give O'Fallon credit because their girls battled hard and didn't quit.

"The crazy thing about this game was that we didn't play all that well and we missed 24 free throws, but yet we scored 63 points.''

Trailing by 18 points, O'Fallon got a pair of 3-pointers from senior Jourdan Phillips to cut its deficit to 36-25 at halftime.

A basket by Jasmine Bonds and another 3 from Phillips kept O'Fallon within striking distance. But the Panthers couldn't keep Fluker and Berry under control.

The Maroons' dynamic guard tandem combined for 24 of the 27 points scored by West in the fourth quarter.

Still, O'Fallon coach Ryan Massey was happy with how his team competed.

"I'm proud of my girls because they played hard and played their roles well tonight,'' Massey said. "We're going up against a team that has three (NCAA) Division I players in Fluker, Berry and Jesheon Cooper and I thought we competed right there with them.

"We had some girls come in tonight who are role players that played their jobs well. That's what makes a successful team.''

Bonds led O'Fallon with 16 points, while Phillips chipped in with 12.

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