Sporting WCA

Girls Basketball Rallies to Defeat Nerinx Hall 57-54

Girls Basketball defeated Nerinx Hall 57-54 in the First Round of the Westminster New Year Shootout on Thursday.

After trailing 20-2 at the end of the first quarter and 30-16 at half, the Wildcats rallied to tie it in the third and eventually close the game out in the fourth.

Nerinx jumped out to an early 14-0 lead, and the lone points scored by Westminster in the first quarter came off of two free throws from Carsyn Beachy. The Nerinx lead reached its height in the second quarter at 23-2, but the Wildcats finally got the bleeding to stop and began their comeback.

Lacking a made field goal to this point, they cut the lead to 25-8, where it stalled, but finally, as halftime loomed, they outscored Nerinx 8-3 in the final minutes of the second quarter to face a 12-point deficit on the last possession. Nerinx made a shot at the buzzer, and the halftime score was 30-16.

“We knew it would have been hard to play any worse than we did in the first half,” said Macey Lottmann.

Immediately in the third quarter, Freshman Brooke Highmark took control and changed the scope of the game. She scored on the first two Westminster possessions of the half, and Nerinx was forced to call timeout. The Wildcats continued to apply the pressure, and Macey Lottmann got hot from three-point range. She made three three pointers in the third quarter, and thanks to her, Westminster trailed by one after outscoring Nerinx 23-10 headed to the fourth.

Westminster took the 43-41 lead two minutes into the final quarter, and the game went back and forth until Kiley McKee got to the free throw line down by one with under a minute left. She made both shots, giving her team a one point lead. At the other end, the Wildcats got a stop and Nerinx was forced to foul. Since they had committed only four team fouls in the half, they would have to foul multiple times to send Westminster to the free throw line.

After getting fouled twice on inbounds passes, Westminster threw the ball away, but Nerinx traveled, giving the ball back to the Wildcats. Westminster inbounded again, and Kristen Keys was fouled. She missed the front end of a one and one, and Nerinx had another chance with under 20 seconds left.

Westminster committed a foul, and the Nerinx shooter missed both free throws. The Wildcats still led by one point. However, Nerinx got the rebound, then proceeded to turn the ball over under the basket. Kristen Keys got to the free throw line again, this time making both of her free throws and giving the Wildcats a three point lead. A desperation heave from Nerinx fell short and the Wildcats won 57-54.

Even though they started slow, the Wildcats finished strong, showing the toughness that will have to carry them through the rest of the season. The ability to win games where they haven’t played their best will be critical if this team is going to make the postseason run they are capable of.

“We have to be able to win games like these,” said Lottmann, “Hopefully we won’t have many more halves like the first half.”

Macey Lottmann scored a team high 13 points, and Brooke Highmark, Kiley McKee, and Carsyn Beachy each scored ten points on their own.

The Wildcats play in the Semifinal of the WCA New Year Shootout on Friday at 5:30 PM against Pattonville.