By J. Daniel Rollins
Register-Herald Sports Writer
Going into this week, you would have had to search the history books way back to the 2010-2011 season to find the last time the Westside Lady Renegades lost a basketball game. After their battle with University on Thursday night, you won’t have to search far at all.
The Class AA No. 1 Lady Renegades(14-1) lost to the Class AAA No. 6 University Hawks (12-5) 57-46, marking the end of a 42-game winning streak that included the 2012 state championship.
“I told the girls after the game, we’ve got to learn from this loss,” Westside coach Jamie Lusk said. “I hate that we lost. No one wants to lose. Everyone wants to win, whether it’s one game or 42 in a row. To have it snapped is a part of life; we’ve got to learn from it and move on and keep battling.”
The usually hot-shooting, high-intensity Lady Renegades struggled in the first half, only shooting 7-for-26 from the field and scoring a measly 20-points. They also had a hard time stopping University’s Mariah Callen, who opened up the game making every shot on an 8-0 run.
Westside never recovered the lead.
“She’s that type of player,” Lusk said. “She’s a special player and made it tough to do what we do well. She was a tough matchup for our guards. We didn’t play well.”
Callen scored 13 points in the first half and made it nearly impossible for Westside’s guards to get the ball inside to Hope Lester. She struggled in the first half, only scoring 6 points and going 3-for-9 from the field.
“We just told them we’ve got to start playing like they do,” Lusk said of his team at halftime. “Hope has to step up and play, start taking over games. She’s the type of player that can dominate.”
Lusk’s words must have inspired the 6-foot sophomore. She came back in the second half with 12 points.
Westside fired back in the second half with a 10-0 run, and outscored the AAA Hawks 26-21, even cutting the deficit to 5 at one point. However the hole was just too deep to dig out of.
“University’s got a good team,” Lusk said. “This is something we needed. Playing a AAA team ranked in the top 6 in the state, giving us tough matchups. We played much better in the second half and fought through the nerves. We got back to playing Westside basketball. I’m proud of our girls.”
Westside’s quest for a new streak will begin on Saturday morning at 9 a.m. when they will take on Class AAA St. Albans in the consolation round of the Big Atlantic Classic. University will move on to play Greenbrier East at 5:40 p.m.
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Morgan Spolarich 2 0-0 4, Faith Davis 3 4-6 11, Megan Endicott 2 2-6 8, Danielle Brown 2 0-0 5, Hope Lester 6 6-8 18, Kristen Hash 0 2-2 2, Hope Davis 0 0-0 0, MacKenzie Endicott 0 0-0 0. Totals: 15 14-22 46.
Mariah Callen 5 10-13 21, Megan Messiora 3 1-2 7, Hayley Marrison 2 0-0 6, Kayla Boggs 4 2-2 10, Shelby Boyle 3 0-0 6, Cassidy Seaman 0 0-0 0, Lexi Kolar 0 0-0 0, Cortney Mercer 2 0-0 4, McKenley meadows 1 1-2 3 . Totals: 20 14-19 57.
W 10 10 16 10 — 46
U 20 16 07 14 — 57
3-point goals — W: 2 (F. Davis, D. Brown) ; U: 3 (Harrison 2, Callen). Fouled out — None.