Westview cast outshines Lady Rebs
Posted: Friday, February 15, 2013 7:00 pm
By MIKE HUTCHENS
Messenger Sports Editor
On a night where two starlets shared center stage, Westview’s supporting cast earned a spot in the final credits.
Teddy Vincent played a starring role, but got critical help from her teammates down the stretch as the seventh-ranked Lady Chargers rallied from a 13-point deficit to beat Obion Central 59-53 in the District 13AA semifinals Thursday night at Dyersburg High School.
The win puts Westview (26-4) into Saturday night’s championship game against No. 2 Covington (29-2), a 74-65 overtime victor over host D’burg in Thursday’s first semi. Both teams also earned host roles for Region 7AA first-round games next Thursday night against the third and fourth place finishers, respectively, from District 14AA.
OC (25-8), meanwhile, was relegated to Saturday night’s 6:30 13AA consolation game against Dyersburg (19-10). Both the Lady Rebels and Trojan girls will then play road games in the Region 7AA quarterfinals on Feb. 21.
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, including a trio of deep 3-pointers in the third period when Martin erased a double-digit deficit with a 20-9 rally.
And 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 Tiffany 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. Sisters Kaley (9 points) and Kendall Leyhue (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.
“They had a player (Vincent) step up in the third quarter who decided she was going to take it upon herself to put her team in the championship game and then some others contributed around her at critical times,” Obion Central coach Lyle LaRue agreed in his post-game summary. “Brandi did her part, but we didn’t give her much help in the second half.
“I think the main issue for us was the number of offensive rebounds we gave up. It was like the state championship game against CPA all over again. I know that three of their 3-pointers came off second-chance opportunities, and it seemed like we just lost focus or froze up. I called two timeouts specifically to ask if we were going to box out. We just didn’t put forth the effort of going after the loose balls and the offensive rebounds.”
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.
Sports editor Mike Hutchens can be contacted by email at firstname.lastname@example.org.
Published in The Messenger 2.15.13