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Westfield Boys Off to Fast Basketball Start

Bulldogs getting set to host upcoming Bulldog Bash over the holidays.

The Westfield High boys’ basketball team, which won just a handful of games last year, is off to a terrific, early season start this winter under head coach Doug Ewell.

The Bulldogs improved their pre-Christmas holidays’ record to five wins and two losses when they defeated Heritage (Leesburg), 69-47, in a non-Northern Region road game played earlier this week on Monday, Dec. 20. It marked Westfield’s final pre-holiday game.

Westfield will host its own Bulldogs’ Bash holiday tournament next week from Dec. 28-30. The Bulldogs’ first game after the New Year will be on Jan. 7 when it hosts cross-town rival Centreville in a Concorde District affair.

Westfield, in Monday’s win over Heritage, had three players score in double figures – 6-foot-10 inch junior center Zach Elcano (16 points), junior guard Julius Rosa (14) and senior guard David Aurora (13). Robert Aid, a senior forward, added six points while junior guard Mark Gibson contributed five and junior forward Quinton Basil four in the balanced attack.

Westfield lost its season opener back on Dec. 3 to guest team Edison, 79-70, in overtime. But the Bulldogs then reeled off four straight wins, the victories coming over visiting West Springfield, 67-37, on Dec. 7; guest South Lakes, 57-35, on Dec. 8; home team Hayfield, 58-38, on Dec. 10; and visiting Lake Braddock, 54-53, on Dec. 14.

The win streak was snapped last Friday night, Dec. 17 when the Bulldogs lost, 60-57, at South County Secondary. Aurora tallied 15 points in the loss, while teammates Elcano (14) and Elliot Breen (10 points) had big scoring nights as well. Rosa and Basil both added seven points. South County’s Nik Biberaj scored a game-high 23 points to pace the winning Stallions that night.

OVERALL, it has been an exceptional start to the season for Westfield, which bounced back from the South County loss with the decisive victory over Heritage. But there is still plenty of room for improvement for the Bulldogs.

“Although our record is good we need to improve our rebounding, and do a better job of handling teams that press us,” said Mike Coyle, a Westfield assistant coach. “We've played good defense at times, limiting teams to 30-to-40 points

in three of our wins.”

Westfield is an overall young squad this season with just three seniors – Aurora, Aid and Breen. Several of the underclassmen have gotten their first taste of high school varsity basketball experience over the first month of the season.

“Some of the newcomers are adjusting to the competiveness and physical play of

varsity basketball,” said Doyle, speaking on behalf of Coach Ewell. “Our big player, Zach Elcano, attracts a lot of attention from other teams, but he is adjusting to

this well and providing the scoring that we need. In addition, his defense has improved, which has been a nice plus.”

Westfield, over its first seven games, is receiving solid contributions from a number of players.

“Julius Rosa, a returning junior, is playing good defense for us and has done a good job of knocking down open looks,” said Coyle. “David Aurora is the only senior that starts and he has been very steady offensively and defensively, and

knocking down open three’s.”

The Bulldogs have received good play at the point guard position where both Gibson, a returning varsity player, and sophomore Chaucey Beckett have been productive.

“Each bring an intensity and different skill set which complement each other,” said Coyle, of the two playmaker guards.

One of the team’s more versatile players has been strong forward Basil.

“He does a little bit of everything, grabs rebounds, defends multiple players,” said Coyle. “He hit a big three [point shot] for us in the closing seconds against Lake Braddock.

“We have some younger guys that are coming along, learning the system, and competing for minutes,” added Coyle.

The Bulldog Bash will take place over the holidays from Dec. 28-30 at Westfield. The eight-team boys’ team field will consist of the following squads: the home team Bulldogs, Langley, Potomac High, Centreville, Flint Hill, Potomac School of McLean, Battlefield of Manassas, and Stuart.

Westfield will need steady contributions from both its starters and players off the bench in order to put together a good showing at its own tournament.

“I believe that this year's tournament will be as competitive as any that

we've had in past years,” said Coyle. “I believe that we can compete for the title,

but it will be a new experience for a number of our guys, playing three

games in three days. Clearly, our bench will need to step up and play

quality minutes so our starters can get some rest and be fresh and

focused during the late stretches of the game.”

<hd>Westfield Boys Off to Fast Basketball Start

<sh>Bulldogs getting set to host upcoming Bulldog Bash over the holidays.

<1b>By Rich Sanders

<2b>Centre View

<bt>The Westfield High boys’ basketball team, which won just a handful of games last year, is off to a terrific, early season start this winter under head coach Doug Ewell.

The Bulldogs improved their pre-Christmas holidays’ record to five wins and two losses when they defeated Heritage (Leesburg), 69-47, in a non-Northern Region road game played earlier this week on Monday, Dec. 20. It marked Westfield’s final pre-holiday game.

Westfield will host its own Bulldogs’ Bash holiday tournament next week from Dec. 28-30. The Bulldogs’ first game after the New Year will be on Jan. 7 when it hosts cross-town rival Centreville in a Concorde District affair.

Westfield, in Monday’s win over Heritage, had three players score in double figures – 6-foot-10 inch junior center Zach Elcano (16 points), junior guard Julius Rosa (14) and senior guard David Aurora (13). Robert Aid, a senior forward, added six points while junior guard Mark Gibson contributed five and junior forward Quinton Basil four in the balanced attack.

Westfield lost its season opener back on Dec. 3 to guest team Edison, 79-70, in overtime. But the Bulldogs then reeled off four straight wins, the victories coming over visiting West Springfield, 67-37, on Dec. 7; guest South Lakes, 57-35, on Dec. 8; home team Hayfield, 58-38, on Dec. 10; and visiting Lake Braddock, 54-53, on Dec. 14.

The win streak was snapped last Friday night, Dec. 17 when the Bulldogs lost, 60-57, at South County Secondary. Aurora tallied 15 points in the loss, while teammates Elcano (14) and Elliot Breen (10 points) had big scoring nights as well. Rosa and Basil both added seven points. South County’s Nik Biberaj scored a game-high 23 points to pace the winning Stallions that night.

<b>OVERALL</b>, it has been an exceptional start to the season for Westfield, which bounced back from the South County loss with the decisive victory over Heritage. But there is still plenty of room for improvement for the Bulldogs.

“Although our record is good we need to improve our rebounding, and do a better job of handling teams that press us,” said Mike Coyle, a Westfield assistant coach. “We've played good defense at times, limiting teams to 30-to-40 points in three of our wins.”

Westfield is an overall young squad this season with just three seniors – Aurora, Aid and Breen. Several of the underclassmen have gotten their first taste of high school varsity basketball experience over the first month of the season.

“Some of the newcomers are adjusting to the competiveness and physical play of

varsity basketball,” said Doyle, speaking on behalf of Coach Ewell. “Our big player, Zach Elcano, attracts a lot of attention from other teams, but he is adjusting to

this well and providing the scoring that we need. In addition, his defense has improved, which has been a nice plus.”

Westfield, over its first seven games, is receiving solid contributions from a number of players.

“Julius Rosa, a returning junior, is playing good defense for us and has done a good job of knocking down open looks,” said Coyle. “David Aurora is the only senior that starts and he has been very steady offensively and defensively, and knocking down open three’s.”

The Bulldogs have received good play at the point guard position where both Gibson, a returning varsity player, and sophomore Chaucey Beckett have been productive.

“Each bring an intensity and different skill set which complement each other,” said Coyle, of the two playmaker guards.

One of the team’s more versatile players has been strong forward Basil.

“He does a little bit of everything, grabs rebounds, defends multiple players,” said Coyle. “He hit a big three [point shot] for us in the closing seconds against Lake Braddock.

“We have some younger guys that are coming along, learning the system, and competing for minutes,” added Coyle.

The Bulldog Bash will take place over the holidays from Dec. 28-30 at Westfield. The eight-team boys’ team field will consist of the following squads: the home team Bulldogs, Langley, Potomac High, Centreville, Flint Hill, Potomac School of McLean, Battlefield of Manassas, and Stuart.

Westfield will need steady contributions from both its starters and players off the bench in order to put together a good showing at its own tournament.

“I believe that this year's tournament will be as competitive as any that we've had in past years,” said Coyle. “I believe that we can compete for the title,but it will be a new experience for a number of our guys, playing three games in three days. Clearly, our bench will need to step up and play quality minutes so our starters can get some rest and be fresh and focused during the late stretches of the game.”