SYRACUSE 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.