Lady Chargers ratchet up intensity to earn shot at title
Stephanie Sturgis - Press Sports Editor
Following the break in play, the Lady Chargers flipped the momentum and went on to a 52-45 win over the North Side Lady Indians Monday night in the Region 7-AA semifinals.
With the win, WHS earned a shot at the region title vs. Gibson County at 7 on Wednesday night and a berth in the sectional round of 16 at 7 on Saturday night.
"I told the girls they were acting like they didn't want to win.They weren't playing aggressive and had to flip that if they wanted to win," Stephenson said.
The Lady Chargers took heed and outscored the Lady Indians 24-8 the rest of the game. An Amber Rechis trey started the WHS run. After an Indian miss, Taylor Swaim snared the rebound and fed Breanna Pitcher for a quick layup to trim the gap.
The Lady Chargers also went to their fullcourt press and it paid dividends. Westview finished the third on an 11-3 run, including a Rechis driving runner at the buzzer, to trail 40-39 heading into the fourth. In the spree, WHS got strong play from Amber Nanney and Grace Ann Swaim in the paint.
"(Nanney) made some huge defensive plays," Stephenson said of his lone active senior.
With 4:51 left in the game, the Lady Chargers moved in front, 43-42, on a Rechis 15-footer. After North Side missed in the paint, Jacey Sims ripped down a rebound. On the offensive end, Rechis found Sims open in the corner for a huge trey that bumped the lead to four, 46-42.
"Right before she let it go I said, 'This is gonna be huge'," Stephenson recalled.
North Side cut it back to two, 46-44, on a Christa Pirtle putback with 3:13 remaining, but the Lady Chargers got a driving layup from Grace Ann Swaim to double the lead. After a NS miss, Westview ran the clock and took the 52-45 win.
Westview led 16-12 after a quarter, but North Side was on top 24-23 at halftime.
Region 7-AA Tournament
March 2 at Dyer
North Side (45) — Jessica Cobb 16, Alex Hill 11, Christa Pirtle 10, Jalita Fason 5, Victoria Douglas 3.
Westview (52) — Amber Rechis 27, Grace Ann Swaim 15, Sara Olds 5, Jacey Sims 3, Breanna Pitcher 2.
3-pointers: North Side — none; Westview — Rechis (2), G. Swaim, Olds, Sims.
Records: North Side 19-7, Westview 29-4.