Watson Chapel coach Matt Busch told his players that they had to step up to beat White Hall on Friday.

Watson Chapel coach Matt Busch told his players that they had to step up to beat White Hall on Friday.

Senior T.J. Handley took the message to heart as he scored 36 points to lead Watson Chapel in a 73-44 rout of White Hall in a 5A-Southeast Conference game.

“I don’t even know who that was out there,” Busch said. “I knew the kid could do it and he had one heck of a game. That’s a senior that wanted to win at White Hall and he helped us do it.

“If we get that out of him every night, we can win a lot of ballgames.”

The Wildcats got off to a less than impressive start as they were called for two technical fouls in the first 2 minutes, 15 seconds of the game. The first technical was on Handley for hanging on the rim just 42 seconds into the game. The second one was called on Tevin Brown for taunting after he made a three-pointer at the 5:45 mark.

But even after the two technical fouls, Watson Chapel had a 7-5 lead, which is the closest the game would get the rest of the way.

“In environments like this with cross-town rivals, sometimes emotions get the best of them,” Busch said. “It’s just an emotional game for everyone involved. We came out after those two technical fouls and just sat out and guarded them.”

Handley was one of the main reasons Watson Chapel recovered from the two technical fouls as he scored 17 points in the first half alone.

“I got help from my team,” Handley said of his big game. “I am glad my team passed me the ball, and I will try and reward them next game.”

The Wildcats improved to 3-2 in the conference and are in sole possession of third place. Overall, Watson Chapel is 10-8.

Busch said this was a big win for his team.

“We are going to take it one game at a time and we will take this one gladly,” he said. “They are a good ball club and we will see them again at our place.”

After Handley, JoviOne Bailey scored 12 points and Rodney Ollison scored 11 points.

White Hall fell to 7-6 overall and 2-3 in the conference.

“They just whipped us,” White Hall coach Joe Stacey said. “They played great tonight and we didn’t show up. They played well.”

Jeremy Sprinkle was White Hall’s lone double-figure scorer with 22 points.

Busch said the gameplan was to try and limit Sprinkle.

“We planned our whole game-plan around him and still gave up 22,” he said. “That kid is a beast and he’s one heck of an athlete.”