90° F Wednesday, July 26, 2017

By Kyle Gregory

The Westlake girls basketball fought hard against now-District 15-5A champions Anderson, but the Chaps upset bid was undone by a single bad quarter as Westlake fell 54-42.
“You can’t play a six-to-20 second quarter and expect to win many tough games,” Westlake coach Allison Scacco said. “Take away that second quarter and give our point guard one less foul, and I think that might have been a different ballgame.”
Foul trouble haunted the Chaps (12-20, 5-6 in district) all night. Senior point guard Christine Northington collected two early in the first quarter, changing the face of the Chap offense.
“Christine getting two fouls early hurt us a lot,” Scacco said. “She’s kind of a calming force. Not only did the rest of the team get rattled, but when she went back in she seemed a bit rattled as well.”
Overall, Westlake amassed 30 fouls over the course of the game, with three Chaps fouling out.
“We play aggressive basketball, so that’s going to happen sometimes. We have enough guns to be able to send others in,” Scacco said.
Prior to the parade of fouls, the Chaps got off to a hot start.
Working out of a tenacious press, Westlake managed to grab a few turnovers and Hannah Feste drained a jumper and a three-pointer to start a 7-1 run. Anderson weathered the storm and tied the game at 11-11 in the waning seconds of the quarter.
The second quarter is where it all fell apart for Westlake. The Chaps only managed a single field goal, while Anderson slowly added to their lead with free throws before draining two big 3s at the end of the half to pull comfortably ahead 31-17.
“We came out hard and strong and then the second quarter came and we were struggling to get passes inside and get shots,” Northington said.
The third quarter was a better showing for the Chaps (who outscored Anderson), but the offense was still inconsistent. Any attempts to get the ball inside to post Jesse Turner were swatted away by a mass of Trojan arms. On the rare occasion when Turner did possess the ball, Anderson’s big duo of Mary Grace Bilby and Saundra Guillory immediately swarmed to block the shot.
“They play a 1-3-1, which we’re not used to, so we were running our normal plays, but we were having trouble with it,” Feste said. “I felt like we would pass it inside and we were so focused on dribbling in that we were getting it stolen. We needed to pass the ball around and look for mismatches. We definitely threw it in and got too many turnovers inside.”
Westlake’s shots finally began falling with consistency in the final quarter, but the Anderson squad matched them shot for shot. Guillory in particular caused heavy damage, racking up 11 points in the fourth quarter alone.
“We just couldn’t get things to fall our way. We had a bunch of great looks that just weren’t going and we got a bunch of stops in a row and just weren’t scoring on the other end,” said Scacco.
Kamri Ball led the team with 11 points. Northington finished with seven, and Julia Thurston and Brooke Holle each contributed six.
Despite the loss, Westlake remains in position to secure a third-place finish in district and a playoff berth with a win over Austin High Tuesday, with the regular-season finale set for 7:30 p.m.
“I’m really hoping we win because it will put us in a better place for playoffs,” Feste said. “We’re definitely going to beat them and it’s going to be a really sad game for all of us because it’s our last home game and we’re playing our biggest opponent. So, hopefully we’ll kill them.”


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