Vincent star shines for Westview girls
Posted: Wednesday, February 20, 2013 12:00 pm
By MIKE HUTCHENS
Teddy Vincent ignited Westview’s comeback fire.
Her teammates helped keep it burning.
Vincent made three third-quarter 3-pointers to spark the Lady Chargers’ rally from a 13-point first-half deficit and a collection of plays from Tiffany Rechis and sisters Kaley and Kendall Leyhue down the stretch completed Martin’s stirring 59-53 come-from-behind victory over Obion Central in Thursday’s District 13AA semifinals.
The win put Westview in Monday’s finals opposite No. 2-ranked Covington and also secures a home date for the Lady Chargers in the first round of the Region 7AA Tournament on Thursday.
Both Westview’s Vincent — a High Point University signee — and Central’s Miss Basketball finalist and Memphis-bound Brandi Goodman proved worthy of advanced star billing in Thursday’s third meeting of the Lady Chargers and Rebel girls.
Vincent finished with 27 points — scoring 13 in the first half and then 14 over the final two periods to lead the comeback — while Goodman was virtually unstoppable inside, pouring in a game-high 32 points despite often-times being double- and triple-teamed.
The ultimate difference, though, was the players around those two stars.
Westview’s Rechis gave her team the lead for good (54-53) with a 3-pointer at the 2:36 mark, then added a pair of free throws with 1:12 to go after coming up with a crucial steal. The Leyhue siblings (Kaley, 9 points, and Kendall 7) also contributed during the Lady Chargers’ 34-18 second-half surge.
OC, though, struggled to find a complement to Goodman, who was responsible for all but five of Central’s points in the second half. Shannon Wiggins’ third-quarter trey and a bucket by Paige Hicks that ended a 16-3 Martin surge and forged a 42-all deadlock were the only Lady Rebel points not scored by Goodman over the final 16 minutes.
“Teddy got hot and we just kept feeding the beast,” Westview head coach Sean Stephenson said. “None of this happens unless Teddy starts making shots.
“That said, though, we had some other girls step up and make some huge baskets and big plays down the stretch.”
The Lady Rebels — dressed in their pink uniforms — looked as if they were going to run away and hide in the first half when they twice led by as many as 13 points.
Goodman was dominant in the post, scoring 11 of her team’s first 13 markers, and Wiggins drained a pair of 3-pointers to give OC a perfect inside-outside balance and a double-digit lead two minutes into the second frame.
Rachel Jones, who tweaked an ankle in Obion Central’s quarterfinal win over South Gibson, came off the bench to provide a spark and scored all seven of her points in the second period. Her two free throws late in the half matched the Lady Rebels’ largest lead at 34-21 just before halftime.
Down 35-24 at the intermission, Westview looked nothing like the team that struggled with its shooting eye in the first half when Kayla Leyhue and Vincent combined to hit four times from outside the arc to turn a nine-point deficit into a 45-42 Westview lead late in the third canto.
The drama was tense with several lead changes down the stretch — Goodman converting an old-fashioned 3-point play with 3:08 to play to give Central its last lead at 53-51 before Rechis dialed long distance for the second time in the fourth quarter to put Martin in the lead to stay.
A pair of Kaitlyn Harrelson foul shots with four seconds to play sealed the final verdict.
“Our plan coming in was to be aggressive. We wanted to initiate contact, but we got to where we were looking for a whistle instead of finishing,” Stephenson continued. “We told them at the half that we’d gotten the open looks we wanted… we just didn’t make the shots. We made ’em in the second half.
“We can’t guard Brandi (Goodman) one-on-one, and we knew they were going to look to her on every possession that mattered. I do think it was a big deal that it was called fairly loose and we showed we can play this type game and be successful.”
Published in The WCP 2.19.13