Westminster's Arianna Cottom and Brooke Riley, and Manchester Valley's Mackenzie DeWees, Jayce Klingenberg, and Josey Klingenberg met in the center of the court for a photo op with Mavericks' coach Heather DeWees and Mavs assistant Breken Gray.
The Mavericks defeated the Owls 67-42 just moments earlier, but the score no longer mattered when the buzzer sounded.
The girls, along with Owls' Zoe Costley, are all members of Heather DeWees's AAU basketball team. Jayce Klingenberg, a Mavs senior guard, said it's definitely a different vibe when playing opposite their travel teammates on their respective high school teams.
"It brings a high intensity level to the game because we know each other and we know each other's habits so we can predict them and anticipate them," Klingenberg said. "But at the same time, they know ours and they anticipate us so it makes us step up our game."
The girls don't intentionally guard one another specifically; those dynamics just play out as the game goes on.
"We're guarding each other with intensity but at the same time we both know we're all friends," Klingenberg said. "So, we're still very sportsmanlike to each other."
Mavs junior guard Mackenzie DeWees paced the team with a game-high 28 points. She added 11 rebounds, eight steals and five assists. Josey Klingenberg, a sophomore guard, scored 11 points and had seven steals — sister Jayce had 10 points and four assists.
Cottom and DeWees exchanged in a battle of the 3-pointers late in the first frame, trading buckets back and forth in a close call for both teams. The Mavs took the quarter leading by one, 20-19, before powering forward to score 22 points in the second. Owls junior guard Sarah O'Donnell scored the lone two points of the frame.
O'Donnell scored six for Westminster to cut the deficit 49-27 in the third quarter. Man Valley (4-0, 2-0 county) used a 9-0 run to push on in the final frame and senior guard Ashley Yeager sank a pair of free throw opportunities to seal the deal.
"Westminster's a great win for us, it's a phenomenal win," Heather DeWees said. "They have a lot of talent and they're very deep so they came out on fire. Obviously, I think the whole AAU thing bled into some of it but then you have the aspect of Coach [Shawn] Minnier being at North Carroll so we have a lot of weird dynamics going on with him being the former coach of some of my players, me being the former coach of some of his players and it's a really good basketball game at the end of the day."
O'Donnell scored a team-high 13 points for the Owls (3-1, 1-1). Junior guard Sydney Popielski had nine and Cottom added eight.
"I think it was an intense match and I think the girls knew what to expect when they were coming in," Minnier said. "I think we had a couple breakdowns that kind of lowered our intensity and we have to find a way to weather the storm and respond to those runs. We're coming along and I think this was a good test for us and we'll see these guys again moving forward. We're looking forward to the battle."