by Clancey Cleveland
Jan 06, 2012
Westmoore’s second round game against Booker T. Washington Friday evening at the Lady Jaguar Classic Basketball Tournament was filled with hot streaks and cold streaks.
The first quarter belonged to the Lady Jaguars. They would shoot 4 threes, bring down nine defensive rebounds, and give up only 1 offensive board.
“I think I’ve always had a good shot, it’s just been the confidence in games to shoot the ball,” Leslie Branch said. “But I’ve been getting the green light from my teammates, and it helps a lot - them looking for me during the game.”
Their one downfall of the 1st quarter, eight turnovers. Six of those a result of poor passing decisions. Westmoore learned from their mistakes, however, and made only four turnovers through the next three quarters.
“Coach Guziec in the locker room talked about they’re quicker, they’re faster, they’re more athletic, and all we needed to do better is see the defense and know when to pass it and where to pass it,” Branch said.
As Westmoore’s hot streak drew to a close, Booker T.’s began. The Lady Hornets would outscore Westmoore 14-4 in the second quarter.
“We knocked down some shots (early on),” Head Coach Andrea Guziec said. “I was really proud of Leslie Branch. She had one of her best games. That’s big when you have a second scorer besides Brittany (Alavinejad). It just fell off in the second quarter, and we never really got it back in the second half. We just need to figure out how to do that more often.”
Big bright point throughout the game was the Lady Jaguars’ intensity on getting both offensive and defensive boards, with 17 rebounds in the last three quarters of the game.
“We know how important rebounding is, and we came out and were focused in on it,” Guziec said. “But as energy ran out and as we stopped hitting shots, we allowed that to take us out of the rest of our game. We got to remember that we can play defense even when our shots aren’t falling.”
Westmoore couldn’t ever get their shots to fall again toward the end of the game. The team did a good job breaking down the Booker T. defense and creating smart shots, but those shots would find a way to not go in.
Booker T. Washington would win the game, 44-37, clinching their win with four free throws in the last minute. The Lady Hornets will go on to play for the tournament championship against Sapulpa.
Westmoore will compete against Putnam City North on Saturday, tip off set at 4:30 p.m.
“We’re looking to defend our home court and get third place in our tournament and improve from last game,” Branch said.