Feb 19, 2012 Phil Blackwell Uncategorized
Undefeated and owning the top seed in the Section III Class B-1 playoffs, the Westhill girls basketball team is finding that its road to the finals is one filled with local color.
Not only did the Warriors have to eliminate no. 8 seed Marcellus 52-24 in Friday’s quarterfinal round, it will have to topple no. 4 seed Bishop Ludden in the semifinals Wednesday at Jamesville-DeWitt after the Gaelic Knights disposed of no. 5 seed Holland Patent 64-40 in its quarterfinal.
In short, the Class B-1 tournament bracket is loaded. Westhill and Ludden were both fortunate to see South Jefferson (18-0, no. 4 in the state rankings) and Utica-Notre Dame (17-1, no. 2 in the state rankings) relegated to the other half, and indeed the Spartans and Jugglers won to set up a meeting with each other in the semifinals.
Meanwhile, Westhill took a while to get going against a Marcellus side it beat twice during the regular season. It was tied, 8-8, after one period, and the Warriors leaned on its defense to take control, holding the Mustangs to three points the rest of the half.
An 18-6 push through the third quarter helped put the game away, though, as Anna Ross amassed 15 points, seven rebounds, seven assists and five steals.
Sam Peebles and Maggie Tripodi each had 12 points, with Gwen Dougherty adding six points and nine rebounds. Tripodi also managed six assists and four steals. In defeat, the Mustangs saw Meghan Witkowski put up nine points and Brielle Filtch add seven points.
Up the road, Bishop Ludden was putting together a fine all-round effort against Holland Patent, bolting to an 18-12 lead by the end of the first quarter. The Gaelic Knights held the Golden Knights in check over the game’s middle stages, steadily adding to the margin until a closing 24-13 spurt.
Nicole Granteed had one of her best varsity outings, leading Ludden with 18 points, plus three rebounds and two steals. Lauren Roy earned 15 points, with Kayla Kibling earning 11 points. Kelly Granteed managed eight points and six assists as Natalie Barletta produced six points, five assists and five steals.
To get its shot at Westhill, Marcellus first had to negotiate last Tuesday night’s opening-round game against no. 9 seed Vernon-Verona-Sherrill. That didn’t turn out to be much trouble, though, as Marcellus blasted past the Red Devils 49-27.
Having only qualified for the playoffs on the last day of the regular season, Marcellus had, essentially, been playing in elimination mode for a couple of weeks, so the added playoff pressure was not as steep as normal.
What was increased, though, was the Mustangs’ defensive pressure. It forced a string of VVS turnovers, the Red Devils only getting four points in the first quarter and trailing, 21-12, at halftime.
With a 20-8 tear through the fourth quarter, Marcellus closed on an emphatic note, too. Bethanie Abbott led with 11 points, with Filtch adding 10 points. Witkowski and Lauren Soule each had nine points.