Forced to move its game from Friday to Thursday because of an, at the time, impending snow storm, the Westport High girls’ basketball team buried Southeastern Regional under an avalanche of first-quarter turnovers and skated to a 50-34 win one day after losing to Blue Hills.
“It’s good we moved it,” Westport coach Glenn Lincoln said. “It takes yesterday’s defeat out of my mouth.”
The win bumped Westport’s Mayflower League record to 10-2 and its overall mark to 14-5. Southeastern Regional went to 3-8 in league play and to 3-12 overall.
Sam Medeiros led Westport with 20 points and 11 rebounds. Layla Moran had 11 points and eight boards and Brittany Arruda had eight points and seven rebounds. Neyshamarie Alicia led Southeastern with 12 points and 10 rebounds while Val Martinez had eight points, one more than teammate Ali Downey, and Tiesha Jackson grabbed a dozen caroms.
Medeiros, with relatives littered among the handful of fans in attendance and audience comments clearlyaudible, scored 12 of her points in the opening quarter as Westport’s full court pressure forced 10 turnovers and led the Wildcats to an 18-4 advantage after eight minutes.
“The first quarter I missed two of my layups,” Medeiros said. “I’ve got my grandfather yelling at me so I knew I had to start making some. I thought it was easier for me in the first quarter. I was more into it.
“But I got tired. Especially when you’ve got girls banging you around down low. You get clotheslined down there.”
As her statistics would attest, Medeiros more than held her own in the paint before fouling out with under two minutes to play.
“The Southeastern girls were big but I don’t think they were as athletic as (Medeiros) was,” Lincoln said. “She was able to move faster than they could move their big legs. She was effective underneath.”
The Hawks scored the first six points of the second quarter before Reaghan Tripp and Medeiros countered with hoops to push the lead back to 12. Southeastern got the next three points only to have Moran bury a pair of threes from the right corner and Alyssa Kochman score off a turnover to elevate the advantage to 15. A Martinez hoop made it 30-17 Westport at halftime.
The Wildcats, with Arruda scoring six points, upped their lead to 19 with two minutes left in the third quarter. But Westport went cold, missed seven straight shots and had six turnovers as the Hawks ran off nine straight points to make it a 10-point game early in the final quarter.
“Turnovers were the main problem,” Medeiros said. “No one was boxing out down low and we were drawing stupid fouls. And we kept shooting too early. No one was watching the clock. We don’t have to shoot in five or 10 seconds but it seems like that’s what we were doing.”
Lincoln said, “We had a bunch of turnovers in the far corner I don’t know how many trips in a row. The girls wouldn’t take a step to the ball. But we got out of the corner and changed things up.”
Southeastern had three chances to cut the lead to single digits but turned over the ball twice and missed a three-point try. Medeiros finally ended the drought after she missed a free throw and Moran got the rebound.
Moran shoveled the ball back to Medeiros and she put it home. Medeiros then scored off an inbound play, sank a free throw and Kochman got two at the end of a fast break. Moran completed a 10-1 run with another three to make it 48-29 with under three minutes to play.
“They got close because we let them go to the hoop all night,” Lincoln said. “We got a little tired and got in foul trouble because we were reaching in.
“Then we clamped down a little bit more. We started to get inside a little more and scored toward the end. And we got some fast break points at the end like we did at the beginning.”
Westport finished the game shooting 34 percent (22-for-64) compared to 22 percent (13-for-59) for Southeastern. The Wildcats were 3-for-14 from three-point land while the Hawks were 2-for-14. Free throw shooting left something to be desired by both teams. Westport was 3-for-10 and Southeastern was 6-for-18. Southeastern had a 46-42 edge in rebounding and also had 25 turnovers, three more than Westport.