By JOHN HOWLEY / sportingpumpkin.com
WILLIAMSPORT — Westfall opened up a bit of a cushion in the second quarter over visiting Nelsonville-York and made it hold up on the way a 48-37 first-round tournament win Saturday night.
“We had some film on them and they put in the work,” Westfall coach Zane Miller said of his team. “They watched the film, and they knew what was going to be run against us offensively. They knew what we had to do on the defensive end to win the game.
“If we can hold a team under 40 points, it keeps us in any game.”
Marissa Mullins led the way for the Mustangs with 19 points and nine rebounds while Gabby Patete had 14 points to go with nine rebounds and Mahaley Farmer added 10 points.
“Offensively, we were really trying to work the ball in to Marissa,” Miller said. “Marissa has been huge for us all year. We really wanted to work inside-out where we can establish her to open up our three-point shots and cuts to the basket.”
The Buckeyes were able to briefly hold an early 5-2 lead after two baskets from Airah Lavy — who led her team with 18 points. But the Mustangs responded with the next seven points and led 11-7 at the end of the first quarter.
With six points from Mullins and five from Patete, the Mustangs extended their lead to 22-13 at halftime.
Westfall maintained its nine-point advantage after the third quarter.
The Buckeyes had opportunities in the fourth to close the gap but struggled shooting as they were 3-16 from the field and 1-9 from the free throw line.
Nelsonville frustrated the Mustangs at times in the game — including a point in the second quarter where the Buckeyes forced three quick turnovers, but Westfall responded by not allowing their visitors to convert any of those into points during that spurt.
“Credit to Nelsonville. We had some film but that was something we didn’t see on the film was them pressing us,” Miller said. “They did a real good job switching it up and that kind of confused us for a minute. Our girls settled in after we showed them what was going on, what they were running.
“Then we did a real good getting the ball to Mahaley Farmer. If we get the ball to her, being a senior, we’re going to be able to get the ball across the court against anybody. She’s a great player and I love having her on our team.”
The Buckeyes finished the night with a 42-38 rebounding edge. Brooklyn Richards led her team with 11, Ashleigh Cantrell had nine and Lavy had eight. Along with nine each from Mullins and Patete, Carmen Walters grabbed six for Westfall and Kylee Henry had five.
The Mustangs (16-6) advance to the second round to take on Alexander down in Albany Wednesday night but still have a home game with Central Crossing on the schedule for Monday (weather permitting).
“We’re hoping to get that one in and then we’re supposed to go to Alexander,” Miller said. “I think we’ve got a good chance. If we continue to progress and work the ball down to Marissa, we should be in good shape.”
Westfall 48, Nelsonville-York 37
Nelsonville-York — Ashleigh Cantrell 0-2-2, Kalina Hernandez 2-0-4, Brooklyn Richards 1-5-7, Alivia Speelman 3-0-6, Airah Lavy 7-1-18. Three-point goals — Lavy (3). Total — 13-53 8-23 37.
Westfall — Mahaley Farmer 4-2-10, Marissa Mullins 9-1-19, Natalie Holland 0-2-2, Kylee Henry 1-1-3, Gabby Patete 5-2-14. Three-point goals — Patete (2). Total — 19-45 8-16 48
Quarter scores 1 2 3 4 F
Nelsonville-York 7 6 16 8 37
Westfall 11 11 16 10