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Westfield stays unbeaten, tops Panama

Above, Westfield’s Dylan Scriven looks to take a shot while being defended by Panama’s Braden Cook during Friday’s 60-58 Westfield victory over Panama. Photo by Matt Spielman.

PANAMA — Dylan Scriven isn’t Westfield’s No. 1 scoring threat.

He’s not really head coach Bob North’s second or third threat for that matter.

But on Friday evening in Panama, Scriven saved the Wolverines.

Scriven scored 16 points, grabbed 10 rebounds and picked up three steals as Westfield edged Panama, 60-58, in a Chautauqua-Cattaraugus Athletic Association Division 2 West first-place showdown.

“Dylan is the glue. He’s one of those guys. You talk about the other seniors, but Dylan Scriven is working hard on defense and rebounding,” North said. “We’ve been waiting for a breakout from him. … He picked the perfect night to show up hitting those shots.”

Panama’s Cameron Barmore shoots over Westfield’s Nate Culbreth (11) as Westfield’s Dylan Scriven also defends during Friday’s game in Panama. Photo by Matt Spielman.

Andrew Baribeau led the Wolverines (9-0, 5-0) with 19 points, 14 rebounds and two blocked shots while Nathan Culbreth added 13 points and Darien Swanson had seven assists.

“I knew it was going to be a battle,” Panama head coach Ed Nelson said. “One of the things we haven’t been doing a great job on all year is defending the perimeter. We knew they had some really good perimeter shooters and that’s what eventually got us in the end.”

The Panthers (8-1, 4-1) were led by Cameron Barmore with 26 points, 14 rebounds and four blocked shots while Gerrit Hinsdale had 15 points, 10 rebounds and eight assists.

Westfield took a one-point lead with 4:56 remaining on Culbreth’s fourth 3-pointer of the game. On the Wolverines’ next trip down the floor, Baribeau passed up a 3-pointer at the top of the key and found an open Michael Johnson in the corner for his lone triple of the game and a four-point lead.

Back-to-back buckets by Baribeau eventually made it 58-52 before Barmore hit his third 3-pointer of the game to make it a three-point game with 1:30 remaining.

After a transition bucket from Scriven, Panama sophomore Cooper Brown made his only basket of the game with a 3-pointer from the corner to make it a two-point game with 34 seconds remaining.

“I left him over in the corner and he hits a 3,” North said. ” … I told the guys in the timeout, ‘that’s on me. That’s the guy we wanted to make a shot and he did.'”

The Wolverines then missed the front end of a one-and-one free throw situation. After a timeout, the Panthers inbounded from the sideline, but had to settle for a baseline jumper that missed the mark.

“We had a play that we’ve run 100 times,” Nelson said. “We had two guys go to the wrong spot. … We didn’t execute like we should’ve.”

Westfield then missed the front end of another one-and-one. Panama rebounded the ball and called timeout with 1.2 seconds remaining.

Needing to go the length of the floor, Hinsdale inbounded to Barmore, who caught the ball near half-court and let a 3-point attempt go that glanced off the side rim.

“We were never looking to go undefeated this whole year,” Nelson said. ” … Even though we got clipped by two tonight, I still think we took a step toward getting better.”

The Panthers dominated the first quarter, notably after Ryan Jafarjian left with his second foul just 2:29 into the game.

“Ryan is important to us. He usually is a guy that scores a lot of points for us,” North said. ” … He got in foul trouble, which hurt us because we didn’t have that guy who could get to the basket for us.”

Barmore finished the opening eight minutes with 12 points as the hosts built a 22-11 lead.

“We played a zone early and that was probably my mistake,” North added. “I wanted to find Cam in the zone and we lost him a few times.”

Johnson scored on back-to-back baseline drives midway through the second quarter before Culbreth and Scriven hit back-to-back 3-pointers as the Wolverines closed the gap to three with under three minutes to go in the first half. Baribeau eventually made a bucket just before the buzzer to make it 32-30 at halftime.

Westfield found its first lead since 4-2 with 4:09 to go in the third quarter, but Panama led 46-45 at the end of the third quarter despite a banked 3-pointer from Baribeau with just under a minute to go.

Culbreth’s 3-pointers eventually put the Wolverines back in the lead and now they lead the division all by themselves.

“When these guys were sophomores, I had to teach them it’s we and not me. I think they really stepped up and showed that tonight,” North said. “It doesn’t matter who does the scoring or who is on the floor, as long as we get the ‘W’ we’re happy.”

NOTES: Westfield went 24 of 64 (37.5%) from the field, including 10 of 25 (40%) from 3-point range, and turned the ball over 12 times. … Panama went 22 of 62 (35.4%) from the field, including 7 of 18 (38.9%) from 3-point range, and turned the ball over 13 times. … Westfield won the jayvee game, 47-36. Ian Emery scored 13 for the Wolverines and Bryce Hinsdale led the Panthers with 12.

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