Dec 20, 2013 Phil Blackwell Uncategorized
Weather has, at times, caused all kinds of issues with the early portion of the high school sports winter schedule. For example, Westhill’s girls basketball team had two games snowed out before it took on Bishop Grimes Thursday night.
And perhaps that lack of game effort hurt the Warriors early, but it turned things around just in time and, with a strong second-half defensive effort, knocked off the Cobras 48-44.
With the no. 4 spot in the first state Class B rankings of the winter, Westhill knew that it was a prime target, especially for someone like Grimes, who carried a 4-1 record into the game that included a tough 51-45 win over Marcellus earlier in the week.
And even when one of the Cobras’ top players, Tina Hoag, left the game with an ankle injury in the first quarter, Teresa Shattuck came in and scored eight points in the first half.
Shattuck, Jordan Vaught (seven points) and Julia Freeman (six points) all made contributions as Grimes constantly found gaps in Westhill’s defenses during an impressive second-quarter surge. By halftime, the Warriors were staring at a 31-23 deficit.
Then, according to head coach Sue Ludwig, “we just played with more intensity and fight.”
Led again by seniors Anna Ross and Sam Peebles, the Warriors made up that eight-point deficit in just four minutes of third-quarter time, but that was just a warm-up.
Peebles’ back-to-back 3-pointers helped Westhill move ahead for good, and it went on a 10-0 run early in the fourth quarter. With its defense in top form, Grimes was held without a field goal for more than eight minutes, until the final seconds, when it proved too late.
Of Peebles’ 13 points, 10 of them came in the second half. Ross led with 15 points, while Emily Washburn earned eight points. Vaught (14 points), Shattuck (12 points) and Freeman (10 points) all hit double figures for Grimes despite those late struggles.
Westhill knows that Bishop Ludden is close behind them in the OHSL Liberty division pecking order and that the Gaelic Knights will get a chance to topple the Warriors on Jan. 6.
In the meantime, the Gaelic Knights are handling other local foes, including Marcellus, whom it rallied to beat 56-48 Thursday night to improve to 5-1 on the season.
The Mustangs appeared to have things in control during the first half, going on a 14-5 second-quarter run to extend its lead to 28-15.
But a shift in strategy allowed Ludden to make up most of that deficit in a 20-8 third quarter, and that momentum continued into the final period, when the Gaelic Knights wore Marcellus down on both ends as it outscored the visitors 21-12 to pull it out.
Nicole Granteed, with 16 points and 10 rebounds, led the comeback. Sara Hayes had 12 points, with Gemma O’Kane managing 10 points. Danielle Rauch and Stephanie Brazell had nine points apiece.
For Marcellus, who fell to 2-3, Tessa Mosher picked up 14 points, with Shelby Nye (13 points) and Molly MacLachlan (11 points) close behind.
Before that, Ludden romped past Solvay 54-22 last Tuesday, holding the Bearcats to a mere four points in the first half to take charge and stretching its lead to 41-11 by the end of the third quarter.
The Gaelic Knights did this without a single player scoring in double figures, though all 11 that saw action got at least two points. Brazell led with nine points, while Allie Wiegand had eight points. Rauch threw in seven points as Granteed and Olivia Trunfio managed six points apiece.
To its credit, Solvay bounced back Thursday night and finally got into the win column, beating Phoenix 54-46, using a 16-5 second-quarter spurt to move ahead for good.
Chelsie Delperuto and Jackie Gardner each had 16 points, with Gardner adding 10 rebounds and Gianna Pennisi also getting 10 rebounds to go with her 13 points. Courtney Napolitano managed 10 rebounds, too.
Even as many snow-related postponements hit again last Monday night (including Westhill’s game against Hannibal and Jordan-Elbridge’s clash with Altmar-Parish-Williamstown), Marcellus did play, at Bishop Grimes, and it put up a good battle before falling to the Cobras 51-44.
Nye, starting at forward for the injured Erica Bauman, kept her team in it during a rough first quarter, scoring all seven of her team’s points after Hoag struck for 11 points, including three 3-pointers, in the game’s first three minutes.
Though Hoag would cool off and get just four points the rest of the way, her teammates kept Grimes in front, and with Marcellus missing all kinds of inside baskets, it trailed, 28-15 at the half.
Gradually, the Mustangs fought back in the second half, but every time it threatened to draw real close, Grimes would hit a timely outside shot.
Thanks to a trio of 3-pointers from Lauren Soule, Marcellus got within four, 36-32, early in the fourth quarter, only to have Grimes’ Jordan Vaught drain a big 3-pointer with five minutes left. The Mustangs didn’t get another field goal until the final minute, when Vaught’s free throws sealed it.
Soule scored all 16 of her points in the second half, while Nye finished with 10 points. Nicole Wynne managed six points as MacLachlan and Meghan Witkowski had five points apiece. For Grimes, Vaught led with 18 points.
J-E returned to action Thursday night, losing 68-26 to Hannibal, as Leah Wright and Alexis Rouse led the Eagles with six points apiece.