Westminster shuts down Park, 56-31 No. 14 Owls toughen up defense, win Poly tourney


The stakes were higher, but the outcome was essentially the same.

After routing Park to claim fifth place in the Poly Invitational Tournament last year, No. 14 Westminster won the tournament championship with a 56-31 victory over the Bruins last night.

Jill Ibex, who was named the tournament MVP, scored 13 points and grabbed 12 rebounds to lead the Owls (6-1).

A six-foot senior forward, Ibex totaled 48 points in three games. She has been named to the All-Tournament all three years in which Westminster has participated.

The Owls took advantage of a horrid performance by Park in the third quarter to take a 45-14 lead entering the fourth quarter.

How bad was it for the Bruins (6-3) in the quarter?

They were outscored 20-0 in the period, missing all 10 of their shots from the field. Park also went 0-for-4 from the foul line and committed 12 turnovers.

After pulling within 18-14 on Alana Roth's free throw with 3: 00 remaining in the second quarter, the Bruins went 11: 33 without a point and Westminster scored 27 unanswered points.

Overall, Park went 13: 45 without a field goal.

"We made a few defensive adjustments at halftime and that smoothed things out for us offensively," Westminster coach Bernie Koontz said. "We weren't getting back quickly enough on defense, and we weren't boxing out in the first half."

Westminster, which never trailed, seemed a bit out of sync in the first half, with the Bruins playing a box-and-one zone defense against Ibex, who was held to five field goals.

"We don't see a lot of gimmick defenses," Koontz said. "I think it was a little unnerving at first. But I told them, 'If they occupy Jill, it will create more openings for everyone else."

Koontz, who also led Westminster to the tournament title in 1994, said the three-day event was a good-learning experience for his squad, which was coming off a 49-45 victory over Milford Mill in the semifinals on Saturday.

"Milford Mill played a triangle-and-two and we saw a box-and-one tonight, so it gives us some looks at different defenses," he said. "It gives us the opportunity to work on our offense."

Despite the loss, Park coach Robin Willard also was pleased with his team's performance.

"I told them that they played three great quarters of basketball," he said. "We just lost our concentration in the third quarter, and against a good team like Westminster, it killed us."

It probably didn't help matters that junior guard Rebecca Shapiro -- the Bruins' leading scorer at 19 points per game -- was battling the flu and needed to rest periodically.

Shapiro still finished with a game-high 14 points.

In the third-place game, junior guard Jenna Bradford scored 19 points and sophomore center Chante Alexander added 13, as No. 15 Milford Mill (7-1) cruised to a 58-27 win over host Poly (2-5).


St. Frances 98, Roger Bacon 82: Mark Karcher scored 37 points to power top-ranked St. Frances (12-3) to a third-place finish at the Slam Dunk to the Beach Tournament at Lewes, Del.

St. Frances built a 42-27 halftime lead en route to the win. Shawn Hampton added 19 for the Panthers.

St. Paul's 71, Trinity (Conn.) 59: The Crusaders hit 22 of 29 foul shots in the fourth quarter to overcome a nine-point halftime deficit and take seventh place in the Northeast (Conn.) Catholic Tournament. Senior forwards Justin Singleton and Chad Unitas led St. Paul's (7-4) with 21 and 17 points, respectively.

Pub Date: 12/31/96

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