Lady Chargers extend tourney stay, again
Posted: Friday, February 17, 2012 12:00 pm
The streak lives on.
Facing the prospects of not advancing to the regional tournament for the first time in nearly two decades, the Westview girls instead extended that run to 19 straight years with an emphatic 54-32 triumph over Gibson County Tuesday night in the District 13AA Tournament quarterfinals at Troy.
The Lady Chargers (19-9) avenged losses in two of three regular season matchups against GC but, more importantly, guaranteed themselves of at least three more games this season — starting with a 13AA tourney semifinal matchup vs. third-ranked Obion Central tonight at 6:30 at Dyersburg High School.
Westview will then play again on Saturday in either the championship game or the consolation matchup and has already assured itself of a spot in the Region 7AA Tournament that will begin late next week.
In extending their aforementioned noteworthy postseason run that began in the 1993-94 campaign, the Lady Chargers put the clamps on Gibson County’s vaunted perimeter game with a lockdown defensive effort that was nothing short of spectacular.
During a stretch from early in the second quarter until late in the third period, Westview did not allow the Pioneer girls to score a single point over a 13-minute span. GC had 13 turnovers during that time and missed more than a dozen shots from the field.
The Lady Chargers capitalized on the offensive end, too, going from 15-14 down to up 34-15 with Teddy Vincent, Jasmine Howard, Tiffany Rechis and the Leyhue twins — Kendall and Kayley — all contributing in that run of 20 consecutive points.
Buckets by Kendall Leyhue and Vincent started the run, while hoops by Howard and Vincent ended the surge before GC finally broke through with 1:10 left in the third quarter.
Winning head coach Sean Stephenson beamed with pride when talking afterward about his team’s defensive prowess.
“We’d seen on film from our other games that they’d really struggled when we got up on them on the perimeter and we just flat-out locked them down,” Stephenson understated. “Our goal was to make them take tough shots. They are such a good 3-point shooting team, but we didn’t give them clean looks and they never were able to get in any kind of rhythm.
“I thought the real key was the job that Jasmine (Newsome) did on (Courtney) Haynes. I don’t think she allowed her a shot in the first half and she had only two points the whole game — those in the fourth quarter. That carried over for her on the offensive end, too. She took the ball on the first possession and took it to the hole and she played with a great deal of confidence the whole night.”
Newsome indeed had the best all-around game of any of the Lady Chargers.
Not only did she totally negate the usual high-scoring Haynes, but she also scored 12 points — second only to Vincent’s team-high 16.
Westview led by as many as 25 points in the fourth quarter — a far cry from the first three meetings of the two squads that were decided by a combined 10 points.
Stephenson spoke proudly, too, of his troops’ feat of again making it to the regional tournament.
“Westview had a good program when I got here, and I think that’s the word — program. It’s not just a team or two here and there; it’s a program. The kids expect to win and want to be successful, and I think you saw that type of effort indicative of a ‘program’ tonight,” he said.
Khadijah Alexander was the lone semblance of offense for Gibson County with 17 points and gave her team its last lead with one of her three first-half 3-pointers in the early stages of the second period.
Rechis gave Westview three players in double figures with 10 points.
Obion Central, playing shorthanded due toillnesses to Brandi Goodman and Ali McEwen, earned an 86-73 win over Ripley to advance.
Macy Wright led the Lady Rebs with 36 points.
Published in The WCP 2.16.12