The Westfield Invitational tournament got off to a good start as the Chautauqua Lake Lady Thunderbirds and Clymer Lady Pirates battled to the final second of the game in a 52-50 Chautauqua Lake win.
The Lady Thunderbirds jumped out to a 14-5 lead to start the game, and while appearing to have the upper hand, the Lady Pirates proved the game was far from over as they scored nine straight points to tie the game 14-all going into the second quarter.
"So far this year, even in our scrimmages, we get off to a quick start," Chautauqua Lake coach Eric Schuster said. "Whether it be fouls, or some other reason we end up letting them back into the game. (Clymer) got right back into game and took the lead on us. We got into some foul trouble and had to have some of our players sit."
OBSERVER?Photo by Justin?Goetz
Clymer’s M.J. Trisket (31) looks to pass the ball while being defended by Chautauqua Lake’s Tara Hunt (14) during Friday’s opening round of the Westfield Invitational.
Clymer took the momentum into the second half as it outscored Chautauqua Lake 12-4 the rest of the first half.
"We got out to a slow start," Clymer coach Scott Neckers said. "We picked it up on defense and that really turned it around for us. We just need to learn to continue that into the second half."
At the break, the Lady Pirates had a 26-18 advantage, but the Lady Thunderbirds came out with something to prove in the second half.
Chautauqua Lake opened up the third quarter with 11 straight points to retake the lead, 29-26.
"Our biggest thing is we are pressing full court and we have to anticipate some passes," Schuster said. "A big part of what we do is in the transition, so if we can get steals, it usually leads to easy buckets for us."
The rest of the quarter was back and forth as each team continued to try to find the momentum to put together a string of baskets.
The Lady Thunderbirds found that momentum and went on one last run in the fourth quarter as they took a 51-44 lead.
Just as they had done all night, the Lady Pirates made a run to catch back up, but fell two points short.
"One of the biggest things for us was that we kept fighting," Neckers said. "We were down, we fought back, but one of the things that killed us in the last two minutes was rebounding."
Leading the way for Chautauqua Lake was Jenna Einink who had 20 points and 17 rebounds.
In the loss Dani Reinwald had 19 points, 12 boards and seven blocks while Jo-Linda Rhodes chipped in 13 points and M.J. Trisket had eight.
In the second half of the double-header, the Randolph Lady Cardinals won in convincing fashion as they took down the host Westfield Lady Wolverines, 80-24.
Randolph jumped out to a 25-7 lead in the first quarter and never looked back as McKenna Maycock led the team with 32 points, nine steals and six assists.
"We played hard," Randolph coach Shawn Huntington said. "This was our first game and (I) wasn't sure how it was going to go. We lost some key players from last year and have a long layoff from practice, so I was very pleased with the outcome."
Also helping out in the victory were Mackenzie Marsh with 14 points and Peyton Terrette with 11 points and eight boards.
As for Westfield they were led by Emily Archer's nine points and Miranda Warner's eight.
"We worked all night," Westfield coach Rich Morrison said. "We went hard until the end."
Westfield will match up with Clymer, today at 5:15 p.m., while the championship game between Chautauqua Lake and Randolph will follow.
"Chautauqua Lake is a tough team," Huntington said. "They are well balanced and have good size. It should be a good game."