By Michael Kinney
The Moore American
MOORE — It had been a long time since Westmoore went into its own tournament believing it had a chance to win it all. But that was the case last weekend when they hosted the Lady Jags Classic.
COming off a tough loss to Southmoore, the Jaguars were confident heading into the tourney. However, turnovers, foul shooting and inconsistent play prevented them from playing at the level they had hoped and they finished with a 1-2 record over the three days.
“We were more inconsistent than we had been prior to the tournament,” Westmoore coach ANdrea Guziec. “We will regroup...”
Westmoore 44, Eisenhower 43: The Jaguars was looking to come out strong in the first round of Thursday. But that is not what happened as it took four quarters to hold off the Eagles.
“We were not ready today,” Guziec said. “I don’t know if we’re still feeling the hangover from Tuesday night or what.”
Westmoore shot themselves in the foot over and over again in the first half by missing layups and turning the ball over. Eisenhower rode the back of Crystal Polk, who controlled the paint. Polk is being looked at by schools such as Oklahoma State, Arizona and Baylor.
The Eagles led 19-16 at halftime.
It didn’t get much better in the second half for the Jaguars, but they did settle down and play stronger defense.
The score was tied 35-35 with 5:16 left in the game. The Jags outscored the Eagles 9-8 the rest of the way.
“We threw out our halfcourt pressure a little bit and I really think that created some offense for us and got us going,” Guziec said. “It wasn’t our best half, but I was proud of the girls that even though we weren’t playing our best we found a way to win the game.”
Ashley Gomez led the Jaguars with 18 points. Callie Palmer added 8 points.
Polk paced the Eagles with 21 points.
Tulsa Washington 42, Westmoore 35: For the second time last week the Jags faced a team ranked in the top-10 in the state in Class 6A. Also for the second time, it came away from the contest knowing it let a victory slip through its fingers Friday in the semifinals.
“We played No. 2 now and No. 3,” Guziec said. “We can stick right there with them. We just need to figure out how to get over the hump. That’s doing some little things, like rebounding better.”
With BTW struggling shooting from the perimeter against Westmoore, it was Taylor Sells who kept the team afloat early. She was able to drive deep into the paint for layups over the Westmoore front court.
But it was turnovers that really hurt the Jaguars in the first half. Whether it was in half court sets or fastbreak opportunities, they threw the ball away several times.
Westmoore still only trailed 20-17 at halftime.
The Jaguars’ post game was shutdown by the Hornets’ Makenzie Ellis. If she didn’t block the shots, she forced Westmoore to alter their shots.
The Jags took a one-point lead early in the fourth quarter at 32-31. The Hornets responded with 6-0 run. This allowed BTW to spread the court and try to dribble the clock out for the last five minutes.
The Jaguars weren’t able to force the Hornets into turning the ball over and were forced to send the Hornets to the foul line. They were 12 for 20 from the line on the night. The Jags were only 3 for 6 from the charity stripe.
Makenzie led the Hornets with 11 points. Sells added 8 and Aiya El Hassen chipped in with 7.
Gomez posted a game high 17 points. Kaci Richardson scored 8 and Palmer added 6.
“I thought we played better than (on Thursday),” Guziec said. “Didn’t handle the rebounds as well as we needed to. I thought we fought and stayed with them. We were there.”
Carl Albert 51, Westmoore 38
Playing for third place, the Jags ran into another ranked team in the Titans. After three days of competition, they didn’t have enough left in the tank to upset CA.
Notes: Booker T. Washington defeated Sapulpa 38-28 in the championship game its second straight tourney title... After leading her team in scoring each game, Gomez was named to the All-tourney team for Westmoore. “I thought we had several players stand out at different times but the most consistent player was Ashley Gomez,” Guziec said. “We continue to need Sydney Chastain on the court to keep us settled and run the show for us. Callie Palmer performed consistently as well. She continues to hit the boards and take the ball strong to the hole.” ... The Jags were back in action Tuesday when they faced Del City. They have Moore on Friday and Norman Tuesday.