The joy of basketball

I suppose, like any sport, the reason one plays something is because they like or love the activity.

As we quickly approach winter, that means my favorite sport will be heating up on the hardwood.

I’ve already been able to take in several different basketball games in the early going, but one I wish I could’ve made and covered was Roane County’s annual beginning of the year trip to Elizabeth.

Last season, I only had one opportunity to watch then-Raider junior standout Lucille Westfall and that came against Wirt County.

This past Saturday, Westfall and her Raider teammates made the trek to Upper Glade and rolled to an easy 73-21 win against the host Highlanders of Webster County.

Westfall, who is still looking for a home to play roundball at in college, not only posted a monster double-double of 35 points and 18 rebounds, but she also had six steals, three blocks, four assists and three deflections on defense.

It doesn’t take someone, albeit I’m not a college coach going out on recruiting trips, much time when it comes to watching Westfall play to know she should be more than capable to help out a program at the next level somewhere.

Coming off a first-team Class AA all-state selection last year, Westfall etched her name into the Roane County record book following Saturday’s game. Ex-Raider James Carpenter, who ended his career in 2004 with 1,282 points, was the all-time RCHS leader in points, but not anymore. Westfall also needs less than 100 rebounds to reach 1,000 for her career and she’s five dozen-plus blocks away from getting her 300th.

As nice as those numbers are, I also have to give a tip of the hat to both Parkersburg South’s Devin Hefner and Ravenswood’s Isaiah Morgan — each of whom went 11 of 11 from the foul line during a game last week.

In the season opener for veteran head coach Mick Price at “The Pit,” all Morgan did was tally 27 points and flirt with a triple-double. He was just one rebound and two steals short. Morgan finished last year in third place alone in the Mid-Ohio Valley in free-throw shooting percentage. He ended his junior year at 87 percent.

Hefner’s effort came in a losing cause against Wheeling Park inside the friendly confines of the Rod Oldham Athletic Center last Saturday afternoon. She finished tied for third in the MOV last year at the foul line for girls, hitting on 84 percent.

Something which has been bothering me since hoops season started and I wanted to bring up was calling scores into the paper.

Although our area head coaches usually call in their scores after a game, sometimes it’s an assistant, which is perfectly fine.

What’s not fine is for anyone on the coaching staff who is calling a game in to have an incomplete scorebook from their scorekeeper.

Yes, it takes a few minutes after each game, but both books should be completed and double-checked before leaving the table and calling it a night.

Contact Jay Bennett at