Watson Chapel can officially claim the title of Jefferson County Champions.

Watson Chapel can officially claim the title of Jefferson County Champions.

As the Wildcats prepare to enter the post-season for a run at a Class 5A state title, one of the teams’ goals was accomplished Friday night in a 47-34 win over cross-county rival White Hall.

Watson Chapel went 4-0 in the county this year, beating 5A-Southeast Conference foe White Hall twice and knocking off Pine Bluff and Dollarway along the way.

“The Cats versus Dogs thing has always been a pretty big deal,” Watson Chapel senior Xaviar Westmoreland said. “And it feels good to come out my senior year and give them a little punch in the mouth as Coach (Matt) Busch would say.”

Watson Chapel punched early and often against White Hall, building on a 13-9 first-quarter lead and extending the advantage to 28-13 at the half. The Wildcats dominated the glass and created 10 turnovers that led to 15 first-half points.

White Hall managed to trim the lead to single digits on two separate occasions in the third and fourth period but could get no closer than eight.

Watson Chapel will now refocus its attention on the playoffs.

“The state tournament was our No. 1 goal at the beginning of the season,” Westmoreland said. “Now that we have obtained the third seed we are looking forward to it. We are going to continue to focus as a team and get focused on the state tournament.”

JoviOne Bailey led Watson Chapel (13-12, 7-6) with 16 points and five rebounds while White Hall’s Jeremy Sprinkle led the Bulldogs (2-11, 2-19) with 13 points and five boards in his first game back after missing two weeks with a broken nose.

It was Bailey who kick-started the Wildcat offense after an 0-for-6 start from the floor.

“We had a cold start but I felt like we stayed composed,” Busch said. “I’m not going to lie. My heart was beating a little faster just because of the way we were shooting it.”

White Hall senior guard Cash Arcement who finished the night with four points, said the Bulldogs made too many mistakes to win.

“We played really hard tonight,” Arcement said. “We always play really hard. “They just made some shots when we didn’t, pulled down rebounds when we didn’t and we had too many turnovers. We had some tough breaks this year, with the forfeits. We were right there in the hunt and got knocked down. It was just hard to come back after that.”