Girls Basketball: Zoe Costley embraces surpassing 1,000 points, guides Westminster to win in regular season finale

Zoe Costley was totally unaware that she was even close to reaching 1,000 points when Westminster traveled to Liberty on Tuesday.

The Westminster senior scored 19 points against the Lions to become the fifth Westminster girls basketball player to reach 1,000 points in program history. She joins former Owls Sue Head (1,243), Alyssa Semones (1,212), Emily Bollinger (1,209) and Jill Ibex (1,083) as those who also accomplished the feat.


Owls coach Dave Urban called a timeout after Costley made a layup against the Lions and she made an attempt to sit down when she noticed her teammates were all looking at and cheering for her. It all came together once she was told how special the layup she had just made was.

“It was awesome to reach that goal because I had no idea I was anywhere close to it,” Costley said. “It was a goal of mine earlier in the season but I pushed it back in my mind because I didn’t want to focus on it, but to be able to achieve that is just crazy and mind-blowing. I still can’t believe it.”

The Owls closed out the regular season with a 50-27 victory over Glenelg on Thursday and also honored the team’s three seniors, Costley, forward Alina Nowosielski and guard Natalie Dorsey. Costley led the way with 15 points and five rebounds. Nowosielski added six points and a team-high 10 rebounds for the Owls (16-6).

Costley’s contribution to the Westminster program over the last four years has been about growth and consistency, Urban said, and she currently averages 17.2 points per game — a county-best.

“The development has been where she looks for how to get to space and her teammates know how and when to get her the ball versus trying to force things,” Urban said. “That’s the growth and development of ‘I know I’m going to get the ball back if I pass it out.’”

Westminster led Glenelg 26-9 at the half and Costley was responsible for nine of the Owls’ points. The Owls used a 9-0 scoring run at the end of the first quarter and two straight 3-pointers from sophomore Jillian Pumputis to boost their lead.

The team’s defense held Glenelg to single digit points in the first, second and third quarters.

“What was impressive tonight was seeing the girls who don’t get a lot of time come out with the same mentality and intensity that they do at practice that pushes the girls that are getting the time,” Urban said. “It paid off for them tonight on the court. I know for someone like Zoe and the other girls who get a lot of time that it was rewarding to see them reap the benefits of their hard work.”

Another 3 from Pumputis gave the Owls a 20 point lead, 29-9, early in the third quarter. They led 38-14 after three and Gladiators junior Jenna Hirsch responded with a pair of 3s in the fourth quarter in a attempt to trim the deficit. She brought the Gladiators within 24 of the Owls, 44-20, but the visitors couldn’t match Westminster’s speed.

The Owls closed out the regular season on a five-game win streak and four of those wins came against county teams. Costley said she feels confident in the team’s position, despite a few rocky games in the middle of the season.

“This past week with no games, we’ve practices super hard and focused on defense because, of course, defense turns into offense,” Costley said. “I think our fast break getting on the floor helps us know when to slow it down so I think right now we’re in a good spot. Of course, we can always improve for playoffs and I think that’s what we plan to do this next week, work just as hard as possible to get where we want to be.”

Glenelg (27): Leya Prezelski, 3, Abby Gillespie, Olivia LePage 5, Jenna Hirsch 11, Alex Anderson 7.

Westminster (50): Grace Vernon 2, Natalie Dorsey 2, Lauren Saltz 2, Meghan Ruth 4, Maddie Olexy 4, Jillian Pumputis 11, Alina Nowosielski 6, Sophia Diehl 6, Zoe Costley 15.

Halftime: Westminster, 26-11.


JV result: Westminster 40-17.