RANDOLPH - The sixth-seeded Westfield Wolverines (9-10) were unable to take advantage of a cold night of shooting by No. 3 Randolph (13-6) as they fell, 62-45, in the Section 6 Class C-2 boys basketball quarterfinals on Friday night.
Both teams struggled from the floor throughout the game, but the host Cardinals' size in the paint and defensive pressure was enough to overcome a slow start and move on to semifinal action.
Luckily for Randolph, Cody Oldro's dominant night down low helped to combat the team's shooting woes as the junior center had 21 points and 10 boards, leading his team in both categories.
Photo by Jay Young
Westfield’s Liam Tennies (25) shoots over Randolph’s Cody Oldro (32) during their Section 6 Class C-2 boys quarterfinal basketball game Friday night at Randolph. The No. 3 Cardinals topped the No. 6 Wolverines, 62-45.
"At this time of the year, you just have to survive and advance, and we didn't start out particularly hot," said Cardinals coach Kevin Hind. "Cody really stepped up and got us some easy buckets inside, so that was a big help. He's just been back a few weeks, so it was nice to get those easy points. Westfield did a good job of taking away the three."
While Oldro was the key to Randolph's comeback, it was Wolverines' big man, Liam Tennies, who started out hot and was able to put the Cardinals in an early hole on their home court.
Tennies began the night with a quick rebound and a putback bucket for an easy two, and then gave Westfield a two-possession lead on a left-handed drive.
The junior ended the contest with 12 points and five boards, but had trouble against the Cardinals' size in the post.
Nearly every attempt by Randolph bounced out in the first two minutes while the Wolverines continued to extend their lead with a smooth baseline jumper from Tanner Dahl.
With shots failing to find their mark, Oldro stepped up early and often to bring the Cardinals back with a pair of buckets in the low post. That momentum helped to spark some offensive production as Mason Bosley was the first to strike from long range for Randolph.
Another bucket by Dahl in the closing seconds of the opening quarter ended the period with Westfield carrying a one-point lead at 10-9.
The Wolverines' margin was the only one they would see during the game as Randolph went on to outscore the visitors 39-24 in the second and third quarters.
After picking up some easy buckets in the first quarter, Dahl went cold from there on out, hitting only 1-of-9 from beyond the arc the rest of the way.
He totaled 10 boards and 15 points for the double-double.
To the benefit of Randolph, the Wolverines and coach Bob North, were working with a depleted bench which hampered them during the most crucial point in the season.
"Other than probably take three minutes out of that third quarter and I thought we played very well,'' North said. "We played (Friday) with some kids that worked really hard during the week, some jayvee kids came in and helped us. We had a couple kids that were gone for a week. So the kids I put on the floor, six of them had played a lot this year, but the other couple guys were kids that hadn't played but jayvees and not a lot, so I was pleased with our effort.''
It was during those few minutes in the third quarter that Randolph was able to step on the gas and pull away for good with four points from Mitch Maycock, five from Bryce Morrison, and nine from Oldro.
The 24 points leading up to the final stanza extended the Cardinals' lead to double digits, and Westfield was unable to make an offensive push with the game on the line.
Morrison struck from long range once again in the fourth while Oldro continued to go to work, Morrison totaled 13 points and seven assists.
Nolan Hunt was able to notch a deep trey for Westfield in the final minutes, but it was to no avail.
The Cardinals have now punched their ticket to the semifinals and will take on second-seeded Olmsted at 6 p.m. on Tuesday at Jamestown Community College.
"I just like to get better each day and that's kind of what we have talked about,'' Hind said. ''You get a four- or five-week layoff at the beginning of the year with football and we've talked about nothing else but being ready at this point in the year. There are some good teams left out there. Maple Grove is playing some good basketball, we're just trying to get better."