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The student news site of Westwood High School.

Westwood Horizon

The student news site of Westwood High School.

Westwood Horizon

Varsity Girls Basketball Outlast Killeen 53-49 in Home Victory

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  • Coach Kelli Payton talks to the Lady Warriors before the game. Coach Payton thinks that the win will give the Lady Warriors more confidence. “It’s always nice to set the tone early.,” Coach Payton said. “The fans in the stands were great, and getting a win in front of them will hopefully keep them coming, as well as attract more people. This gave our girls confidence in the fact that they know they can compete with any team we face.”

  • Taylor Theimer ’25 high fives her teammates as she runs out to play. Theimer came out extremely strong, making the first goal of the game. “Honestly [winning] feels great, we truly deserved it, and it definitely was amazing to see our family and friends cheering from the sidelines,” Thiemer said.

  • Vivian Hapka jumps up to catch a rebound. Killeen attempted to close the gap between their score and Westwood but they were quickly stopped. “[Winning feels] really good,” Hapka said. “It’s a good way to start out.”

  • Vivian Hapka ’26 defends against the Killeen Kangaroos. Hapka did extremely well during the game, scoring 12 points by halftime. “I think we did really good,” Hapka said, “We finished through the end, we didn’t give up any momentum.”

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On Tuesday, Nov. 7, Westwood’s Varsity Warriors edged out a victory against the Killeen Kangaroos in the first home game of the season. The final score was close, at 53-49. The crowd watched anxiously with their hands on their face as Westwood held a strong defense to the end. Isabella D’Alessandro ‘25 held on to the ball in the last three seconds, securing Westwood’s victory.

“I feel we put in our all,” Taylor Thiemer ‘25 said. “This team we played was very competitive and made us work for [the win], and everybody just really did everything they could.”

The Warriors started strong in the first quarter, with Thiemer driving down the court and scoring the first goal of the game only seconds after the tip-off. The Warriors ended the first quarter with an early lead against the Kangaroos at 15-9. The Lady Warriors kept up their momentum and maintained their lead through the end of the first half, going into halftime up 26-17. White the entire team had great confidence and teamwork, there was no doubt that Vivian Hapka ‘26 was the star of the first half, scoring 12 points by halftime.

“[My hope for the rest of the season is to] play hard, keep up a record, and improve in each game,” Hapka said.

After halftime, Killeen came out pumped up and determined to close the score gap. Killeen poked holes in Westwood’s airtight defense and scored the first three baskets of the third quarter, edging closer to tying the score. Killeen’s new momentum caused the Lady Warriors to falter, but they soon recovered when Thiemer made a three-point shot. The Warriors were able to hold off Killeen and go into the fourth quarter still up 41-35.

“[We] definitely [need to improve on] communication,” Thiemer said. “We’re a young team and a ton of new people and the only way to get that to change is communication.

The fourth quarter was tense as both teams were able to score points for their teams. The pressure started to build for both teams, as both teams were fouled leading to free throws. Head Coach Kelli Payton called a time-out with minutes left in the game to regroup and give the Lady Warriors one last pep talk before the clock ran out.

With only two and a half minutes left Emily Collins ‘24 passed to Addison Linton ‘27, who took the ball and scored a layup. The clock was running out fast and spectators watched on the edge of their seats as Killeen made one of the two free throws they were given after a foul in the last three seconds of the game bringing the score to 53-49. With less than seconds left, D’Alessandro got hold of the ball and held on to it, letting the clock run out and securing Westwood’s win.

“Even though we did a lot of really good things, we can’t settle,” Coach Kelli Payton said. “We have to be better on the boards and taking care of the ball under pressure. We are a young team and still learning a lot, but as long as they continue to push each other in practice and we fine-tune certain areas of the game, we will give ourselves a chance to win every game we play in.”

The Lady Warriors will return to action as they are off to Houston next to compete in a tournament.


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About the Contributor
Alessandra Ashford
Alessandra Ashford, Opinions Editor
Class of 2025 When I’m not writing or editing you can find me reading, drawing, painting, listening to music, and ranting. I always love to tell stories and start conversations. I’m so excited to be on Student Press!

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