By Chris Yow
SPRING HILL — Alana Eakle pulled down a missed Summit jumper, drove the length of the floor and muscled home a layup while also being fouled. The free throw didn’t fall, but the layup was enough to give Westmoreland a 42-40 win at the Summit Girls Classic on Wednesday afternoon.
Eakle also drained a last-second 3-pointer to end the first half, and when Eagles’ coach EJ Perry saw she had the ball with 10 seconds left, there was no doubt he was going to let her finish.
“You never know what you’re going to do with 10 seconds left after getting a rebound. Do we call timeout there, get it to half court? When I saw (Eakle) had it, I knew I was going to let it play out,” he said.
Summit struggled in the fourth quarter, scoring just four points on a field goal and two free throws. A half-court pressure defense that was ineffective early in the game gave the Spartans trouble in the final frame.
“I think fatigue set in and we got a little lackadaisical with our passes and we didn’t attack the way we should,” Spartans’ coach John Wild said. “If we are going to be successful, we have to learn to finish games.”
Summit jumped out to an early lead, holding a 16-7 advantage after the first quarter, but the Lady Eagles were able to cut the lead to three by halftime on the Earle longball.
Summit’s Ellie Colson, an Eastern Illinois signee, helped her team pull ahead a little by the end of the third quarter, but Westmoreland clamped down inside and forced six turnovers in the final eight minutes.
“Coach Wild does such a great job with his teams, and they gave us a lot of issues early,” Perry said. “We had to figure out what they were doing and how to attack it, and we were able to get a tough win.”
Wild was complimentary of Perry’s Class AA team, predicting the Eagles would make the state tournament. Being able to play the classic at all, though, is a big bonus for his team, as their original Christmas plans were canceled due to COVID-19.
“This was a good game for us to play,” he said. “(Athletics Director) Chad (Kirby) and (Principal) Sarah (Lamb) letting us do this is really great, and we appreciate the other teams who came and participated.”
Summit is set for action again Tuesday at Franklin as District 11-AAA play resumes
Westmoreland girls 42, Summit 40
W 7 17 7 11 — 42
S 16 11 9 4 — 40
Westmoreland (42) — Cailey Coates 2, Mallory Cassetty 2, Jordan Bandy 10, Anna Creasy 4, Emma Wright 10, Alana Eakle 14
Summit (40) — Delaney Noe 12, Claudette Runk 5, Cydney Wright 2, Ellie Colson 17, Jaidyn Ramzy 3, Nicole Rizane 1
3-pointers — Westmoreland 4 ( Bandy 2, Eakle 2), Summit 5 (Noe 3, Runk 1, Ramzy 1)