Girls Basketball: Owls post up for big win over Hubs

Westminster Dave Urban talks about the Owls' season-opening win over North Hagerstown.

The North Hagerstown girls basketball team got a taste of Carroll County basketball on Tuesday night, and it wasn’t pretty for the Washington County foe.

Westminster opened with a huge lead and the Owls cruised to a 58-14 victory in the season opener for both schools.


That performance made Westminster coach Dave Urban’s debut a roaring success.

“Wins are tough and they worked hard,” said Urban, who replaced Shawn Minnier after serving as a Westminster assistant coach the past four years. “You want them to feel the reward of that effort. See want to see all those little things come to fruition. I want the season to keep going this way.”

Junior Zoe Costley led the Owls with 13 points and five rebounds.

“The spread offense got her some nice easy looks,” Urban said of the 6-1 forward, who led Westminster in scoring last year and earned first-team all-county honors. “She is also a danger when she can step back and shoot that 3-pointer. She is not just going to play with her back to the basket. She’ll have opportunities to handle the ball.”

Urban was also pleased with the performances of two players making their varsity debut. Freshman forward Sophie Diehl finished with 12 points and freshman guard Jillian Pumputis had six steals.

“My two freshmen showed no nerves for the first time being on the varsity stage,” Urban said. “They both excelled. Jillian on the defensive end, transitioning to quick offense and Sophie is just very solid inside and outside offensively.”

Westminster dominated from start to finish.

The Owls jumped out to a 6-0 lead in the first 1:25 as North Hagerstown committed three turnovers during that stretch.


The Owls boosted their lead to 9-0 with 4:34 on Sydney Popielski’s 3-pointer.

North Hagertown coach Ralph Weaver called a time out a minute later, and it slowed Westminster’s momentum a little bit.

The Owls outscored the Hubs, 5-3, for the remainder of the period. But North Hagerstown was 1-for-7 from the field and had nine turnovers in the quarter.

“We came out with some jitters,” Weaver said. “The starting pressing and it was like a layup drill for them.”

North Hagerstown sophomore guard Madison Mertz had 10 points.

The Hubs started better in the second quarter, outscoring the Owls, 4-3, in the first 1:21 of the second quarter to close to 17-7, but the rest of the game belonged to Westminster.

Westminster's Zoe Costley shoots against North Hagerstown
Westminster's Zoe Costley shoots against North Hagerstown(KEN KOONS/STAFF PHOTO)

Soon after that Costley hit a 3-pointer to ignite a 15-0 run and make it 37-9 — the halftime score.

When Diehl made her third straight layup with about two minutes remaining, there was a running clock the rest of the way — the Maryland Public Secondary Schools Athletic Association adopted the rule change in the offseason for boys and girls basketball.

“When it gets out of control, it’s a good idea to let the clock run,” Urban said.

Westminster (58): Sarah O’Donnell 4, Nicole Roberts 4, Sydney Popielski 9, Emily Hynson 4, Emily Stauder 4, Sophia Diehl 12, Zoe Costley 13, McKenzie Zepp 4, Jillian Pumputis 3, Alina Nowosielski 1.

North Hagertstown (14): Madison Mertz 10, Jalee Foster 2, Olivia Lee 2.

Halftime: Westminster, 37-9.