Westminster's Sarah O’Donnell chats with us post-game.
Westminster senior Sarah O’Donnell said she had been waiting for one particular victory since she was a freshman — an Owls win over Manchester Valley.
That wish became reality as the Owls provided the pressure to overcome the Mavericks 52-44 on Tuesday.
O’Donnell and teammate Zoe Costley led the Owls to their first victory over Man Valley in at least three years. O’Donnell notched 14 points, Costley had 12 and added eight rebounds and four assists.
“We definitely had some ups and downs, which is normal,” O’Donnell said. “But, I think we really realized that they want it too so we really needed to keep playing our game and not get down on ourselves and just be there for each other. I think that really showed toward the end.”
The Owls picked up a nine-point lead over the Mavs in the second frame, 20-11, off a 3-pointer from freshman forward Sophia Diehl. Man Valley senior guard Anne Saunders hit a 3, her second of the quarter, that brought the Mavs within six of Westminster. The Owls closed out the quarter by scoring the next four points off two field goals from O’Donnell and Sydney Popielski.
“That’s definitely the main thing is just coming into the gym and knowing you want it more than the other person and just working to beat them,” O’Donnell said.
The Mavericks picked up serious ground in the third frame, scoring five straight points with just over four minutes to go. Junior forward Ellie Boswell notched a 3-point play with a field goal and a free throw and JoseyKlingenberg added one off a steal from Costley.
A pair of Boswell free throws gave the Mavs their first lead of the contest, 35-34, as they continues to clip the Owls’ heels, but points from Diehl and Popielski put the Owls ahead by four to close out the quarter.
The Mavs went 6-for-10 from the free throw line in the fourth frame and Klingenberg took four of the Mavs’ six chances. Westminster used a 6-0 run to build its lead by 13, and the Mavs were able to catch up despite scoring the last six points of the game.
The Owls improved to 8-0, 3-0 in the county with the win, but first-year head coach Dave Urban is still looking for key fixtures within his girls.
“I saw more positives in the second half, but there was no game situation awareness; throwing the ball around when there should have been control,” Urban said. “I got to see some improvement in our girls and I need the focus to be there where they’re not just playing in spurts. They need to put a consistent four quarters together and that’s where we’re deficient right now.”
Klingenberg, a junior, led the Mavs with 14 points, six rebounds, four assists and four steals. Mavs coach Heather DeWees was exceptionally pleased with Klingengberg’s performance despite her team falling to 7-2, 2-1.
“The 14 points doesn’t even scratch the surface of the contributions she made,” DeWees said. “At critical moments, she played a heads up game, led us as a team and that was an integral step for Josey and it felt like she really showed her ability to be a solid point guard and a leader for our team.”
Westminster (54): Sarah O’Donnell 14, Jillian Pumputis 2, Nicole Roberts 2, Sydney Popielski 13, Sophia Diehl 9, Zoe Costley 12.
Manchester Valley (44):JoseyKlingenberg 14, Erin Piper 2, Ellie Boswell 8, Sydney Resau 2, Annie Saunders 6, Amelia Saunders 9, Kassidy Johnson 3.