By Cole Frederick/Sports Correspondent
A 14-0 fourth quarter run helped the Westbrook Christian Lady Warriors pull away from the Ragland Lady Purple Devils for a 47-25 win on Tuesday (Jan. 2) in Rainbow City.
The Lady Warriors forced several turnovers, and Macie Beecham and McKenzie Saunders sparked the above run with a combined three 3-pointers in less than two minutes.
Both teams started the game slowly on offense, but Beecham and Saunders scored six and four points, respectively, to give Westbrook a 10-4 advantage after the first quarter.
Neither team scored in the first three minutes of the second quarter, but six points from Beecham helped extend the lead to 10 right before halftime. L
Lady Warriors – 4B
Ragland’s Makenzie Campbell was fouled on a 3-point attempt just before the half, however, and she sank all three free throws to cut the deficit to 20-13 heading into the locker room.
Ragland cut into the lead in the third quarter as both defenses continued to shine, but a basket from Kendall Sharp gave Westbrook a 27-21 lead entering the final quarter.
Westbrook’s zone defense gave Ragland plenty of trouble in the fourth quarter, and the Lady Warriors pressured the Lady Purple Devils full-court in an effort to force more turnovers.
After a made basket from Ragland cut the Westbrook lead to four with seven minutes remaining, the Lady Warriors scored 14 straight to build a comfortable lead. Saunders and Beecham each scored seven points in the fourth quarter, and Westbrook had the game under control halfway through the period.
Westbrook coach Rachel Neal said her team finally calmed down after halftime and started playing more efficiently.
“I think they finally calmed down and started playing their form of basketball. I think they were playing with some nerves, and also we were a little rusty coming off of Christmas break. We went in at halftime and talked to them about calming down and playing basketball like they know how to play, and I think that made a difference.”
Neal said she implemented the zone defense over Christmas break and it made a difference against Ragland.
“It’s an adjustment we did over Christmas break,” she said. “We just felt like with the personnel that we have this year that it was probably the best thing we needed to go with, and it’s really seemed to work for us.”
Beecham led all scorers with 19 points, while Saunders chipped in 16 points. Campbell led Ragland with 13 points.
Westbrook visits St. Clair County on Friday (Jan. 5) for another non-region contest.