Dec 17, 2011 Phil Blackwell Uncategorized
Maybe it lacks the depth of some of its opposition, but so far, the Westhill girls basketball team has not let that fact get in the way of putting together a perfect 5-0 start.
West Genesee was after the same goal when it visited the Warriors’ gym on Saturday afternoon, but the sophomore combination of Sam Peebles and Anna Ross proved too much to handle as Westhill beat the Wildcats 51-40.
On its way to four consecutive wins to open the season, WG had utilized high-pressure defense and a deep, well-balanced attack. That depth was hurt a bit, though, as Katie Regin had to sit out the Westhill game due to an ankle sprain.
From the start, though, it was clear that Westhill had the more aggressive approach. An active, ever-changing defense (sometimes press, sometimes match-up zone) confused and confounded the Wildcats, leading to a long series of turnovers throughout the game.
At first, the Warriors did not take full advantage, missing a handful of close-up shots and trailing for much for the first half. Then, with her team down 18-16, Peebles took over.
With a minute left in the second period, Peebles converted a 3-pointer. Seconds later, the Warriors got the ball back and Peebles hit a lay-up, and for good measure she converted a third basket a second before the halftime buzzer.
That personal 7-0 run put the Warriors ahead 23-18, and it would not trail again. Even though two starters, Gwen Dougherty and Kelly Mascari, got into foul trouble, the Warriors steadily pulled clear, overcoming Melissa Fumano scoring 17 points and Vicki Graveline adding 10 points.
Peebles would run her total to 19 points, six rebounds, five steals and four assists before it was done. Ross would chime in with a double-double, earning 16 points and 11 rebounds, plus six assists and five steals.
Dougherty and Maggie Tripodi had eight points apiece as Maggie got the best of a family battle against her cousin, Emily, who is a starter for the Wildcats.
WG entered the week 2-0, and easily made it three in a row last Tuesday at Oswego, getting just about everyone involved in a 62-30 romp of the Buccaneers.
Oswego could only keep up for a short while. The Wildcats carried a 16-14 lead into the second quarter, where it proceeded to flatten the Bucs with a 24-5 outburst, all but deciding matters.
Fumano, with 14 points, led an attack where all 10 of WG’s players that saw action got at least two points, nine of them converting field goals. Graveline had 12 points, while Kerri Taylor stepped up for nine points. Claire Kelley and Jackie Pardee had seven points apiece.
Two nights later, Westhill, off for more than a week, returned to action against Solvay and showed no rust as it zoomed past the Bearcats 65-26.
In fact, instead of a slow start, the Warriors were up 18-3 by the end of the first quarter and 30-9 by halftime as it roared through a one-sided OHSL Liberty division opener.
Peebles led with 18 points, while Ross got most of her 16 points from a trio of 3-pointers. Erin Christensen came off the bench and hit a pair of 3-pointers, too, as she finished with points. Dougherty (seven points), Maggie Tripodi and Mascari (six points each) were close behind.
As Westhill plays Marcellus and Skaneateles this week, West Genesee is at home, meeting Auburn and getting a crucial test Friday against fast-starting Baldwinsville.