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Westhill girls shut down Bishop Ludden

Maybe it was good for the Westhill girls basketball team to taste defeat, to feel mad about it and respond in an appropriate manner.

Or maybe it helped that, just 48 hours after that first loss to Cazenovia, the Warriors were back home Friday night and would need a first-rate effort to beat a first-rate opponent in the form of Bishop Ludden, so it couldn't afford to mope for too long.

Either way, Westhill took the Gaelic Knights apart in the opening stages, and used that as the springboard for a 44-28 victory that moved the Warriors into sole possession of first place in the OHSL Liberty division.

Both teams came into the game with 6-1 league marks, sitting just ahead of Marcellus, Jordan-Elbridge and Cazenovia in the standings.

Right from the opening tip, Westhill applied relentless pressure on Ludden, especially on the perimeter, where it took away any open looks that guards like Ashley Cianfriglia and Kayla Kibling could get.

In fact, all that the Gaelic Knights would get in the first quarter was a single free throw. Westhill led, 14-1, then maintained that double-digit margin the rest of the night as it held Ludden to, by a wide margin, its lowest point total of the season.

On the offensive end, Kathryn Christensen, with 12 points, led a balanced approach. Kayla Stirpe stepped up, matching Emily Haggerty with 10 points, while Anna Ross put home eight points. Ludden's Michelle Roesch led her side with 12 points.

Just up the road, the Bishop Ludden boys team got a much-needed home victory over Binghamton 48-44.

In a reversal of what happened to the girls, the Gaelic Knights (6-5) held the Patriots to two points in the first quarter, only to see Binghamton rally in the third period and seize a 30-25 lead.

But Ludden would have the last run. John Rooney, quiet throughout the early stages, erupted for nine of his 12 points in the fourth quarter as the Gaelic Knights outscored the Patriots 23-14 and won.

Casey Ganley would match Rooney with 12 points, as Jared Littlejohn picked up 11 points. Mark DeAngelis added seven points.

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