John Carroll coach Kathy Shannon couldn't hold back a smile as she congratulated her players after yesterday's 59-48 victory over No. 13 Western.
"I think this one puts us on the map," she said.
The 10th-ranked Patriots, 12-13 last year, were expected to be one of the area's most-improved teams -- an expectation that was solidified with the impressive win over perennial power Western at the Greater Baltimore Women's Basketball Mixer at the College of Notre Dame.
"Largely, our talent has been untested," Shannon said. "We have some new faces, and I think we need to get out there and beat some of the better teams before we can feel comfortable in our ranking."
One of the Patriots' new faces, freshman guard Sarah Oktavec, almost single-handedly buried the Doves early. She scored John Carroll's first 10 points and finished with a game-high 22 -- including 16 in the first quarter as the Patriots built a 22-10 lead. She was 6-for-7 from the field in the first quarter, including 3-for-4 from three-point range.
The Patriots (2-0) established their transition game from the onset and appeared to be a step quicker than the Doves, who fell to 0-2 for the first time in coach Breezy Bishop's 24-year tenure.
When John Carroll wasn't scoring off a fast-break or from outside, 5-foot-11 junior forward Jen Westervelt was doing damage inside.
Westervelt scored 15 and displayed some nice moves in the post. Six-foot tall senior Britney Whitehurst also played well inside, pulling down 10 rebounds to go with five blocks, four steals and three points.
Freshman guard Jenny Biscoe played a significant role for the Patriots as well, handling the ball effectively and contributing seven points and seven steals.
"We were fairly one-dimensional last year," Shannon said. "We had an inside game, but we had no outside game, to speak of. Now we have players who can run the floor, guards who can handle the ball, and kids who can shoot from the outside."
After falling behind early, Western was unable to make much of a dent in its deficit. The Doves got to 50-40 after three quarters, but that was as close as the game would get. The Patriots led, 37-24, at halftime.
Bishop said her team has been battling the flu, but she didn't want to use that as an excuse.
"I told them that they were practice players," Bishop said. "They execute all the fundamentals well in practice, but they can't put it on the floor. There's definitely talent there, but until they look within themselves and become a little more unselfish, we will continue this decline."
Pub Date: 12/13/96