Over & out: West Morgan falls in regional semifinals

Feb. 21—HANCEVILLE — The West Morgan Rebels' season came to an end Monday in the semifinals of the Class 4A boys Northwest Regional.

Normally a stout defensive team, the Rebels had no answer for Deshler's offense, falling to the Tigers 69-53 at Wallace State-Hanceville's Tom Drake Coliseum.

"We didn't guard well enough today to win the game," said West Morgan head coach Sam Brown. "Normally if we score 53 we have a chance to win. Typically we're a good defensive team, but today we weren't."

West Morgan (23-7) gave up 30 points in the first half and 39 in the second half, allowing the Tigers to shoot 57%. Deshler's KJ Anderson scored a game-high 27 points, while Dadrian Sanders had 17 points and 13 rebounds.

"I didn't feel like they gave us any action that we haven't worked on. They just made shots," Brown said. "Typically when you have a guy 6'6 or 6'3 with a hand in their face they'll miss."

"I also thought we didn't do a good job of grabbing the 50/50 balls and loose balls," Brown added as the Rebels finished with just 19 rebounds compared to Deshler's 32.

Carson Muse led West Morgan with 16 points. Jalen Fletcher finished with 13 points and Byron Parrish added 11.

The Rebels tasted their last lead in the first quarter when a Gage Waits free throw left West Morgan ahead 7-6. Deshler scored the next 17 points, capped by a Dee Newsome 3-pointer with 6:18 left in the first half. The Tigers had four players score in the run, led by Newsome and Sanders with five points each. Anderson had four and Khalil Bland 3.

West Morgan, which has lost its last six regional semifinals and last made a regional final in 2007, did not get within eight points again.

Deshler (27-5) will play No. 1 Westminster-Huntsville at 10:45 a.m. Thursday for the regional championship.

The Rebels will graduate five seniors who "have been like sons to me," Brown said. Among those is Carson Muse, who has started at West Morgan since he was in eighth grade.

"This place and coach Brown have meant a lot to me," Muse said. "I know even after school, anytime I need him, he'll be there for me."