Lady Wolves hang on in local tournament opener

Westy over Wheatridge in Westminster Winter Classic

Adam Hothersall
Special to Colorado Community Media
Posted 12/12/18

In control for two-quarters Dec. 5 at Westminster High School at the Westminster Winter Classic, the Lady Wolves sealed a 43-40 win over Wheat Ridge, despite the Lady Farmers’ second-half push. …

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Lady Wolves hang on in local tournament opener

Westy over Wheatridge in Westminster Winter Classic

Posted

In control for two-quarters Dec. 5 at Westminster High School at the Westminster Winter Classic, the Lady Wolves sealed a 43-40 win over Wheat Ridge, despite the Lady Farmers’ second-half push.

Leading 24-13 at the midway point, Westy struggled scoring points in the third quarter as Wheat Ridge’s stifling defense allowed just six points in the frame; all by senior Jaylyn Valencia.

After a 4-0 run by Westy to start the fourth, Wheat Ridge recorded their first lead since 1-0 with a 39-37 score with 2:28 remaining. However, Westminster responded.

The next possession, the Lady Wolves tied things. A free-throw later for the Lady Farmers, they found their lead at 41-40 with a minute and 50 seconds left. With the bench coming up big all night, Westy sophomore Breanna McCleave’s bank-shot in the paint a minute later put her team back in front. This time, they never gave it back.

“We had one starter out of town (dealing with a family death), and I had three starters foul out, so basically my bench played the entire fourth quarter,” Westminster coach Jeff Dennis said. “I couldn’t be more proud of these girls, playing with resolve, toughness and mental strength.”

In the low-scoring affair, Westminster’s defense held Wheat Ridge to just 24 percent from the field while creating 24 turnovers. Despite the defensive tenacity and success, Dennis knows the team can continue to improve on that side of the ball.

“I would say that we learned that we have to play smart on every single possession and that every foul counts. Sometimes my girls get a little too aggressive, and that gets them into trouble. I try to teach the girls that we play defense with our feet, so my biggest take away from this is playing smart defense and only fouling strategically.”

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