Things took a foul turn early as Class AA No. 1 Westside visited No. 3 Summers County Friday night.
Both Westside all-staters, center Hope Lester and guard Danielle Brown, went to the bench early after getting whistled by the refs for their second personal apiece.
So did Summers’ center and top scorer, Brandy Morrison, followed by quick guards Abby Taylor and Brennah Davis.
Lester came back with a big second half, but it wasn’t enough to offset fine performances by freshman twins Whittney and Brittney Justice, and junior forward Avery Pivont, in a 59-48 Lady Bobcats victory.
“Both teams went deep to their bench and played lineups they normally don’t play,” Summers coach Wayne Ryan said. “Our kids had a gutsy performance.”
Lester recorded her second foul with 3:47 left in the opening quarter, while Brown went to the bench at the 1:53 mark. Morrison left two seconds after Brown.
But despite the lack of star firepower, it was a tight game for much of the first half. There were 10 lead changes before Summers ended the second quarter with an 8-0 run to go up 26-20.
Lester came back to score 19 of her game-high 21 points. She also grabbed seven rebounds.
But Brown did not score before fouling out, and two other Lady Renegades, forward Megan Endicott and reserve center Kristin Hash, also picked up their fifth fouls.
“We couldn’t get into a flow. There were a lot of fouls, and it was ugly,” said Westside assistant coach Darren Thomas, standing in for head coach Jamie Lusk, who had a death in his family. “We played like the young team tonight, and (Summers) played like the older team.”
While Westside (9-2) started four seniors, plus Lester, Summers had just one senior, Morrison, and started two freshmen.
Whitney Justice led the Bobcats with 18 points, while also contributing four rebounds, three assists and three steals.
Brittney Justice scored 16 points and chipped in nine rebounds, four steals and another three assists.
“They’re good players, and they’ve got good instincts. They’re starting to slowly learn our schemes and systems,” Ryan said. “Once things become more habitual for them, they’re going to be hard to handle.”
Pivont played solidly, with 10 points and seven rebounds.
Every time Westside seemed ready to make a late run, one of the Justices or Pivont came up with a big play.
“I thought our kids held their composure well,” Ryan said. “We did a good job holding on to the ball, and we did a good job on the boards, which you have to do against Westside. They’re a great rebounding team.”
Summers will host another big game Monday against Scott, and will play Princeton and PikeView later in the week.
Westside must get up early today to face Shady Spring at 9 a.m. in a consolation game of the Big Atlantic Classic.
Faith Davis finished with 11 points against Summers. Megan Endicott had eight, along with seven rebounds, and Hash scored six and grabbed five boards.
“We shot terrible. We didn’t execute tonight,” Thomas said. “We missed a lot of easy shots.
“(Summers) beat us tonight. They wanted it more than we did.”
Ryan said it was a nice win, but tougher games with Westside are ahead.
“It’s one game, and not the one at the end of the year,” he said. “Everybody knows how good Westside is.
“I’m happy for our kids, because they’ve worked hard. But we have to keep growing. I’m sure Westside feels the same way.”
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Faith Davis 4 2-4 11, Hope Davis 0 1-2 1, Megan Endicott 3 2-2 8, Danielle Brown 0 0-1 0, Hope Lester 7 6-6 21, Kristen Hash 3 0-0 6, Stephanie Brown 0 0-1 0, Lakyn Walker 0 0-0 0, Kenzie Endicott 0 1-2 1. Totals: 17 12-18 48.
Summers County (13-0)
Avery Pivont 4 2-6 10, Abby Taylor 0 4-4 4, Brittney Justice 2 12-20 16, Brandy Morrison 1 3-4 5, Whittney Justice 6 5-6 18, Brennah Davis 0 0-0 0, Audrey Holley 0 4-4 4, Kaitlyn Thomas 1 0-0 2, Megan Morrison 0 0-0 0. Totals: 14 30-44 59.
W 11 9 10 18 — 48
SC 9 17 13 20 — 59
3-point goals — W: W 2 (F. Davis, Lester); SC: 1 (W. Justice). Fouled out — W (M. Endicott, Brown, Hash), SC none.