A single defeat to Bishop Ludden on Jan. 6 sent the Westhill girls basketball team tumbling down the state Class B rankings, all the way to the no. 14 spot.
And that spot would get threatened again because the Warriors took a second loss on the season on Saturday afternoon, struggling in the fourth quarter as it fell to Nottingham 59-49.
Having already established itself as a Class AA title challenger to Cicero-North Syracuse, the Bulldogs would add to that reputation against Westhill, hanging around throughout the first three periods as the two sides went back and forth.
Still, the Warriors were in front, 46-44, before everything fell apart in the fourth quarter. Going into a slump at the wrong time, Westhill managed just three points the rest of the way as Nottingham’s pressure led to decisive baskets on the other end.
Before going cold, Anna Ross picked up 18 points, with Delaney Martin adding 15 points and Sam Peebles getting 10 points. Nottingham featured Cheyana Canada, who led both sides with 22 points as she dominated in the paint, with Necedah James offering perimeter support through her 13 points, including a pair of 3-pointers.
Before this, Westhill had followed up the Ludden defeat by smashing Solvay later that week and, last Tuesday, had a similar result against Cazenovia, rolling past the Lakers 58-33.
What was an 11-11 tie at the end of the first quarter turned when Westhill’s defense forced Cazenovia into all kinds of mistakes, and the Warriors took advantage, outscoring the Lakers 18-5 the rest of the half.
Cruising from there, the Warriors saw Ross pick up 11 rebounds and seven steals to go with her 19 points. Martin earned 13 points, while Peebles had 10 points and five steals. Mary Kate Washburn contributed nine points.
Westhill followed up on Thursday night with an impressive 58-32 victory over Hannibal, who entered the night with a 5-2 record and fresh momentum from beating Ludden 51-46 earlier in the week behind Devin Sorrell’s 27 points.