By Will Willems
In a match-up of two of the top teams in the state, the Class 3A No. 1 Lebanon Tigers fell to the Class 4A No. 11 Westfield Shamrocks.
A 15-0 run by Westfield in the middle of the third quarter proved to be the difference in a 55-44 game.
“We didn’t shoot well and we missed some free throws, that is the bottom line,” Lebanon head coach Beth DeVinney said. “If we make free throws, we are right there in the game and have a chance to win. The kids played hard, and that is all I can ask them to do against a Westfield team that is going to compete for a sectional championship.”
Despite shooting 2-of-11 in the first quarter, the Tigers were only down one after the first eight minutes.
But then Jenn Anderson came to life for Westfield.
The 6-3 IU commit shot 6-of-8 from the field in the second quarter, helping the Shamrocks build a 22-15 lead at the half.
Anderson finished with 25 points (11-of-13 from the field) and 10 rebounds.
“Honestly we just don’t have anyone to guard a Jenn Anderson,” DeVinney said. “She is a tremendous player and she is big. We tried to do some things against her that other teams didn’t do and to give her credit, she responded to everything we tried to do. Carly Greene gave me everything she had on Anderson, we just didn’t get a lot of help-side defense from the people we needed to.”
Lebanon came out the aggressor in the second half.
Kristen Spolyar, who was held scoreless in the first half while battling foul trouble, started the half with a basket then added a free throw. Greene followed with a hoop to cut the deficit to 22-20 just 2:30 into the third quarter.
But the Tigers went cold.
Westfield scored the next 15 points, getting eight in the run from Gabrielle Lapinski, to go up 37-20.
“When you go down and score, you can’t take a collective breathe and then not play defense,” DeVinney said. “And that is what we talked to the kids about in timeouts was that we couldn’t trade baskets. We had to make sure we went down and played defense. We had three people playing defense and two people watching and resting and you can’t do that. We just had some players not playing 110 percent on the defensive end.”
For more of this story, read Thursday's Lebanon Reporter.