Sporting WCA

Girls Basketball Takes Third in Troy Tournament

The Girls Varsity Basketball program has been years in the making. It has taken time, but this year might finally be the year where it all comes together. With three standout Freshman and five different Seniors capable of making a huge impact, this team is capable of winning Westminster’s first District Championship in Girls Basketball since 2012.

“I’m excited for the season to start,” said Junior Macey Lottmann, “This is the most hype we’ve had surrounding a team since I’ve been here, so it should be a fun season.”

The team’s foundation lies in its Seniors. Kristen Keys, Kiley McKee, and Claire Sanden are all four-year Varsity players at Westminster. Last year, Keys scored 144 points while playing in only 15 games. When she played, the offense flowed in a way that it failed to without her. McKee led the team in scoring, averaging 13.9 points per game, playing in every game and taking more shots than anyone else on the team. Sanden averaged five points per game while also grabbing five rebounds per game. She is a physical inside player who is also able to shoot mid-range shots and three pointers. These three girls will lead the team. Bri Adams and Dani Mabry, also both Seniors, will be role players who find different ways to contribute. Having Adams and Mabry gives the team very important depth that they lacked last year.

The Junior class has only two girls still playing basketball, but both will be important to the success of the team. Last year, Macey Lottman played in every game and Carsyn Beachy missed only one. They combined to average 12.6 points per game from the guard position. Both of these girls have also been playing for Varsity since their Freshman years.

Marty Briner is the lone Sophomore on Varsity this season. She will play a limited amount, but hopes to find her place in the talented lineup. She played in just three Varsity games last year as a Freshman.

This year, one of the biggest Westminster sports stories has been the Freshman class for Girls Basketball. There are three of them on Varsity. Carli Vick stands over six feet tall and plays inside. Brooke Highmark and Rielly Brophy are both much shorter but are strong ball handlers and good shooters. Although all three are loaded with intrigue, they are also all completely unproven. They will have to work to earn everything.

All things considered, this team has the potential to be Westminster’s best this winter. A District Championship is not out of reach. Westminster’s District, Class 4 District 5, includes Burroughs, Ladue, MICDS, Parkway North, Villa, and Visitation.

“I think we’re going to have our first winning season in three or four years and I think we will go far in Districts,” said Sanden.

“One of the things that makes our team different is our enthusiasm on and off the court,” said Highmark, “We all take basketball very seriously, but also make sure that we still have fun.”

The season starts off with the Troy Tournament which will be played in the week following Thanksgiving. League play will then get right underway, and the rest of the schedule will include some large-school non-conference opponents such as University City, Kirkwood, and Clayton.

While aspirations this season are high, the team will have to stay grounded and play their style of basketball as best they can.
“Our expectations are to just work as hard as we can and see where that takes us,” said Brophy.

Through three games, the Wildcats are 2-1 and have shown signs of becoming a dominant team, but have also made it clear that they are young and not quite sure how to finish games. After beating Fort Zumwalt South 53-37 in their first game, they were bested by Eureka in a 53-50 matchup that came down to the final possession. They made a comeback in their third game against St. Charles, winning 55-50 to take third place overall in the tournament.

In the Eureka game, Westminster struggled greatly with foul trouble. Kristen Keys had to sit on the bench for a good portion of the second half with four fouls, and three Westminster players ended up fouling out. With experience, games like these will become fewer and fewer.

Through the first tournament, the rotation of the nine main players has been pretty steady, with everyone playing a significant amount. Freshman Brooke Highmark led the Wildcats against Fort Zumwalt South with 12 points in her first ever high school game, but the scoring was very divided. Six players scored at least six points, and all but one player scored.

The Wildcats play at MICDS on December 4 at 5:30 PM.