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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 Women’s Basketball Suffer Setback With Loss to Cedar Ridge 62-34

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  • Guarding the ball, Ava Sartor ’25 attempts to make a shot. The Lady Warriors’ defense fell flat during the game but they still maintained their good communication throughout the game.

  • Driving the ball down the court, Ava Sartor 25′ runs past the Cedar Ridge defense. Sartor did well on both offense and defense, blocking shots and passing to her open teammates.

  • Rallying her team, Coach Kelli Payton gives her team a pep talk during a timeout. After this loss, Coach Payton wants to build on the positives and maintain the team’s confidence. “That’s what we talked about in our postgame speech is that [Cedar Ridge is] one of the better teams in our district and we did outscore them [in the third quarter]. So despite the 30 point loss, there was the high of that third quarter. So we’re going to build on that and focus on that, so that we know that we can keep competing with all the other top teams in the district.”

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In a game full of energy, keeping the crowd on its feet in deafening cheers, the varsity women’s basketball team lost to the Cedar Ridge Raiders, 62-34 on Tuesday, Dec. 19. Although driven by the roars from the crowd and the Lady Warriors giving it their all throughout the game, ultimately it wasn’t enough to keep up with the Raiders.

“In the first quarter we were in a zone [defense] and I stayed in it too long,” Head Coach Kelli Payton said. “I should have put the girls in a [man on man defense] and that would have helped with all the threes [Cedar Ridge was] making in the first quarter.”

The Lady Warriors came out flat on both defense and offense in the first quarter. Taking advantage of their falter, and stunning Westwood with tight defense Cedar Ridge won the first quarter.While the Lady Warriors were able to score a few points, Cedar Ridge out-scored Westwood shots in the first quarter, leaving the Lady Warriors with little hope heading into the second period 20-7.

“I think [we need to improve on] just making sure that [we’re not] relying on one person,” Isabella D’Alessandro ‘25 said, “Everyone knows what they need to improve on.”

The second period followed the same trend as the first, with the Raiders making a three-point-shot to start, a preview of the period to follow. The Lady Warriors continued to be out-rebounded and out-shot with the Raiders dictating the pace until Claire Lee 26’ made a layup. Taking back some of the control soon after, Emily Collins ‘24 made a three point shot, and Westwood managed to recoup their defense slightly, ending the first half with Cedar Ridge still leading, 33-14.

“Offensively, [we need to take] better shots, [get] better looks, and then [finish] with it,” Collins said. “Around the rim we didn’t just didn’t finish at a higher rate.”

Using the momentum that they had built going into the break, the third quarter was the Lady Warrior’s strongest, making it clear that they received an energizing pep talk from Coach Payton. The Lady Warriors emerged with better offense but still had to fight against Cedar Ridge’s strong defense. Regardless, the Warriors were able to make multiple shots, closing the gap to a possible feat. Both Collins and Lee turned shots blocked by Cedar Ridge into smooth transition layups. The rest of the period however was filled with fouls from the Lady Warriors, allowing the Raiders to regain a significant lead. The eventful third quarter ended with things looking less bleak for Westwood, 48-30, with a comeback on the Lady Warriors minds’.

“Because our third quarter went so well, I think they’re building some confidence in some of their skills and their abilities,” Coach Payton said. “So we’re just going to focus on some of those things and hone in on those during practice, and keep chipping away at our different defensive philosophies. Our motto this year is brick by brick. So just day by day, work on different skills and just keep getting confident. That’s where we’re kind of lacking right now. And so each day I’m making sure I’m instilling in the girls that they’re able to compete with every single team in the district.”

Coming into the fourth quarter, the tension in the crowd was high with the fans edging the Lady Warriors on to make a comeback. Breaking the trends from the rest of the game, and stepping up their defense, Westwood took opportunities on offense to score points. Hapka made yet another layup, but missed both free throws when fouled by Cedar Ridge. With just minutes left in the game, The Raiders scored a layup. Despite all of Westwood’s efforts, they couldn’t compete with Cedar Ridge’s extremely efficient communication and strong defense. The Raiders scored multiple points widening the gap drastically. Westwood managed to score one last goal before the clock ran out bringing the final score to 62-34.

“I feel like we’ve learned everything from each game,” D’Alessandro said. “I feel like we’re getting better each game. So that’s kind of what I’m taking from it. But I think we’re gonna come out of this loss in a more positive way, and just find a way to improve upon our mistakes in the game.”

The Lady Warriors will next face off next against Copperas Cove on Dec. 30 at 1:30 p.m.


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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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