Unbeaten Warriors topped by Ludden, Cazenovia

In a span of less than 48 hours, the Westhill girls basketball team went from undefeated to lodged in second place within its own league.

Bishop Ludden began this stunning turnaround, rallying in the fourth quarter Friday night to stun the Warriors 59-53 behind career-best efforts from Kristen Ryan and Natalie Barletta, among others.

Then Cazenovia staged its own big comeback on Sunday afternoon, rallying past Westhill 47-42 to seize first place in the OHSL Liberty division, largely on the work of two proven seniors, Kiley Evans and Kassie Kleine.

All of this commenced on Friday. Ludden had played Westhill close back on Dec. 30, so despite some recent uneven play, the young Gaelic Knights carried the belief that it could stay right with the 14-0 Warriors.

And for a while, the outcome looked to be the same. Carly Cooper worked her way to 21 points and Annie O'Connor added 17 points as the Warriors' pair of star seniors helped their team work out of a 23-23 halftime tie to seize the lead in the third quarter.

At one point in the fourth quarter, Westhill led by as much as seven, and its defense was doing a sensational job containing Ludden's most dangerous outside threat, Ashley Cianfriglia, holding her to just four points.

However, Ryan helped will her team back into it, earning a double-double with 18 points and 11 rebounds, while Barletta also stepped up with a career-best 15 points to complement Michelle Roesch, who had another strong showing with 16 points.

And it was Roesch and Kayla Kibling, each stepping up with crucial 3-pointers in the fourth quarter, that helped push Ludden in front as it outscored Westhill 23-13 in that last frame.

Having absorbed this defeat, Westhill now turned its attention to Cazenovia, where nearly the exact same thing happened.

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