PikeView's box and one defense slowed Hope Lester.
But only for a half.
The Westside sophomore center scored 19 second-half points Thursday as the Renegades downed the Panthers 68-41 in their Class AA state tournament quarterfinal game at the Charleston Civic Center.
Lester, who had dominated play in all three games last season at states as Westside rolled to the AA championship, had just seven points and a surprising one rebound in the first half.
But she turned it on in the third quarter, hitting the first two baskets of the period and adding 13 points to her total.
She finished with 26 points, plus nine rebounds and three blocked shots.
“I took my time on my shots,” Lester said. “I wanted the ball and knew I had to go up strong. They were physical, but I knew what to do.”
Although Lester was hampered early, Faith Davis got the Renegades off to a strong start. She hit a 15-foot jumper and then a 3-pointer in just over two minutes to put Westside up 5-4. PikeView would never lead after that.
“I was ready and focused,” Davis said. She scored 14 points and had two assists and three steals.
She also had one of only three Westside baskets in the second quarter.
“Faith has (stepped up) all season,” coach Jamie Lusk said. “She’s one of the best girls we have at driving to the basket, and she's a good finisher.”
PikeView standout guard Hope Nester said the Panthers weren’t expecting a big game out of Davis.
“We were keying on Hope, and sometime when you key on one player, it lets someone score more than you expect,” she said. “When you have good shooters taking good shots, they’ll put some points on the scoreboard.”
Not only did Davis step up big, but fellow junior Megan Endicott had a strong second half, with 12 of her 14 points and seven of her 13 rebounds. The six-footer also blocked three shots.
“We know Hope is our best post player, but I had to step up and finish my shot tonight,” Endicott said.
Guard Danielle Brown had an off-night shooting, but still finished with six points, six rebounds and five assists.
Point guard Morgan Spolarich contributed six points, nine rebounds and eight assists to the victory.
Lusk said each of his starters are capable of big games.
“These girls are unselfish. They don’t care if they get 15 points or five,” he said. “They are a family and they want to succeed.
“Megan and Faith both had great games. They’ve come a long way, and they’re also two of our best defenders. I’m proud of how they developed.”
Their efforts overshadowed a gutsy, hustling effort by PikeView (14-11), which had lost four starters from last season’s state-tournament team and had fallen to the Renegades by 40 and 30 points earlier in the campaign.
They trailed by as many as 18 points in the second quarter, but sophomore forward Lyndsey Hatfield keyed an 9-0 run with four baskets and a foul shot to help make it a 24-16 game at halftime.
“I knew I had to rebound well and score for us to have a chance,” Hatfield said.
But Westside (24-1) steadily opened up its lead as the second half progressed.
“They’re all excellent shooters,” coach Karen Miller said. “We tried different defenses, but they would change their offense to what we were playing.”
“We had to fight some jitters, and PikeView came to play,” Lusk said. “They were getting after it on defense, making it tough to make some good shots. But in the second half, we got back to doing what we do well. The girls made some good moves inside.”
Hatfield led PikeView with 19 points and eight rebounds. Nester scored 12 points and Courtney White contributed six rebounds.
“No one expected us to be here,” defensive standout Laura Hill said. “Proving people wrong was a big point in our season.”
Westside will advance to today's 7:15 p.m. semifinal against Fairmont Senior.
— E-mail: dstillwell
PikeView's box and one defense slowed Hope Lester.
- Latest Sports
Bradshaw or the field?
If a betting window were set up on the Cobb Course at The Resort at Glade Springs for the 81st West Virginia Open Championship, which begins at 8 a.m. this morning, the most popular wager would probably be David Bradshaw against the field.
Holgorsen: WVU getting comfortable in new league
Dana Holgorsen remembers the glory days of West Virginia University football — the ones that included conference championships and BCS bowl wins. In fact, he was part of one of those, leading the Mountaineers to a Big East championship and an Orange Bowl victory in his first season as head coach in 2011.
Home sweet home away from home
When Greenbrier owner Jim Justice was handed a copy of the Richmond Times-Dispatch Sunday, his eyes lit up like a Rockefeller Center Christmas tree on a cold December night.
Miners take series with Paints
The way the West Virginia Miners see it, they don’t have the luxury of planning for tomorrow.
Post 32 rips Parkersburg 19-3 in American Legion tournament
The double play in baseball is said to be a pitcher’s best friend. If that is the case, an 11-run inning by the offense is a very close second.
Former Mountaineer standout Gaddis making career in MLS
Philadelphia Union defender Ray Gaddis may consider Indianapolis his hometown, but make no mistake about it, the Mountain State will always have a place in his heart.
WVU's Fleming signs with Yankees
Second baseman Billy Fleming of the West Virginia University baseball team has signed a professional contract with the New York Yankees, foregoing his upcoming senior season.
WVU to kickoff 2018 season against Tennessee in Charlotte
The Charlotte Sports Foundation (CSF) announced Tuesday morning that it has secured a regular season college football game for the city of Charlotte pitting the University of Tennessee against West Virginia University.
Beamer sees turnaround for Hokies
Virginia Tech head football coach Frank Beamer painted a rosy picture of the Hokies’ prospects during Monday’s Atlantic Coast Conference Football Kickoff press conference in Greensboro, N.C.
Picnic with the Saints
The New Orleans Saints are coming to town, and fans will have the chance to share in the excitement at Picnic with the Saints this Saturday at the AdvoCare Sports Performance Center at The Greenbrier. INCLUDES UPDATED PRACTICE SCHEDULE.
- More Latest Sports Headlines
- Bradshaw or the field?