The Lady Warriors of Westview ran into a buzz saw named Fort Wayne Luers Saturday in the opening round of the 2A girls basketball regional held at Rochester High School.
Employing a lethal combination of crisp passing, sharp cuts to the basket, three point-shooting and offensive rebounding, the Lady Knights piled up 33 points and built a 20-point lead by the end of the first quarter. Luers led by no fewer than 18 points the rest of the way en route to a convincing, 71-48 victory over Westview.
Three buckets right out of the gate by junior guard Addie Reimbold staked Luers to a 6-2 lead. After a free throw by Lady Warrior freshman Grace Hales narrowed the difference to three, the Lady Knights went on a 15-0 spree triggered by consecutive three-point goals from Allison Butler. The 5-6 junior nailed another triple late in the initial period to give Luers a 33-13 margin.
“I can’t recall any one of my teams ever giving up 33 points in a quarter,” said Westview coach Randy Yoder, whose 19th campaign at the helm of the Lady Warriors ended with a 15-9 record. “Luers has a lot of weapons on offense and they were hitting on all cylinders today.
“We knew who their shooters were, but they hit some tough shots with a hand in their face,” Yoder continued. “And when we went to a man-to-man defense, Luers did a good job of finding their cutters with good passes.”
Butler would hit three deuces in the second quarter on her way to a team-high 21 points. Two more hoops by Reimbold, who totaled 16, and a pair by Allison’s twin-sister, Erin Butler, earned the Lady Knights a 47-26 halftime cushion.
The Lady Knights got the difference up to a high of 32 (62-30) late in the third quarter before head coach Denny Renier went to the bench and played his reserves for most of the final 10 minutes. Westview chipped away some of Luers’ large lead with three-point hoops by junior Amber Roth, sophomore Sidney Byrkett and Hales, and a trio of baskets by sophomore reserve Kristen Duff.
“I was very happy to see our girls never quit and the way they kept battling in the second half, especially on offense,” said Yoder. “We got contributions from a lot of players.”
Freshman Taya Andrews came off the bench to net 14 points for the Lady Knights, a dozen of which came during Luers’ first-period salvo.
Hales led Westview with 17 points. She was followed by Duff with nine and freshman Maria McCoy with seven.
With all but one (senior Olivia Miller) of the Lady Warriors on the sectional roster slated to return next year, the prospects of Yoder and his charges making a return trip to the regional in 2014 are bright. “We got a taste of what playing on this level is all about today and hopefully we’ll learn from it and work to get back here,” said the Westview chief. “They grew a lot in terms of believing in themselves, especially during the sectional week, which was huge for us. They are a fun group of girls to work with.”
Boone Grove whipped Whiting, 52-33 in the second semifinal Saturday. Luers then beat Boone Grove, 67-50 Saturday night to claim the regional title and a berth in the 2A semi-state game at Warsaw this Saturday. The 14-11 Lady Knights will face 21-3 Eastern (Greentown) at 4 p.m.
Fort Wayne Luers 71
Scoring by quarters
WV 13 13 10 12 -48
FL 33 14 17 7 -71
Sidney Byrkett 2, 0-0, 5; Stephanie Mowery 0, 0-0, 0; Amber Roth 1, 0-0, 3; Brooke Yoder 1, 2-2, 5; Olivia Miller 0, 0-0, 0; Grace Hales 6, 3-4, 17; Riley Hochstetler 0, 0-0, 0; Kristen Duff 4, 1-2, 9; Kaitlyn Warren 0, 0-0, 0; Maria McCoy 2, 3-4, 7; Hannah Witham 1, 0-0, 2; Erika Gamble 0, 0-0, 0; Totals 17, 9-12, 48
Three-point field goals 5 (Hales 2, Byrkett 1, Roth 1, Yoder 1)
Fort Wayne Luers
Addie Reimbold 7, 2-2, 16; Allison Butler 9, 0-0, 21; Emma Wolfe 1, 1-2, 3; Taya Andrews 6, 2-2, 14; Haley Brooks 0, 2-4, 2; Tashayla Sutorius 2, 1-4, 5; Briana Wood 1, 0-0, 2; Erin Butler 3, 0-0, 6; Miranda Malott 1, 0-0, 2; Schrae Hammock 0, 0-0, 0; Tattenai Hall 0, 0-0, 0; Emilia Miles 0, 0-0, 0; Totals 30, 8-14, 71
Three-point field goals 3 (A. Butler 3)