If it was a postseason preview, Westminster Christian’s girls basketball players had to like what they saw.
Westminster in the second half Tuesday found a way to shut down Walther Christian scoring leader Dana Turner while getting the ball inside offensively to Clare Speweik, and turned a close game into an easy 72-46 triumph over a potential future regional opponent.
“It was good to see what it could look like, potentially, in the future for us,” said Speweik, after scoring 14 of her 16 points in the second half for the 11-1 Warriors in the nonconference game.
Both teams have been placed in the Immaculate Conception 2A Regional, pairings to be determined later. Westminster is in its first year of Class 2A competition and Walther Christian is a perennial small school power with a deceiving 2-8 record resulting from plenty of 3A and 4A opponents.
“My goal is to be playing good ball at the end,” said Walther Christian coach Todd Fisher.
Walther played well early Tuesday, when Westminster Christian coach Ken Flickinger drew the second technical foul of his nine-year career. Turner had 21 of her game-high 25 points in the first half and Walther stayed within 34-31 despite a 16-point first-half effort by Westminster three-point ace McKaila Hays.
“It was nice to contribute again to the team,” said Hays, who finished with a team-high 19 points. “The past five games I’ve really been off on my shooting. It was good to get back in a rhythm.”
In the second half, Turner didn’t make a field goal, settling for four free throws.
“We adjusted our defense a little bit because (Turner) lit us up,” Flickinger said. “We just assigned a player to her and took her help responsibilities away — Courtney Gnan — and trapped (Turner) off screens.
“Courtney is a really, really good defender. She lives to play it.”
Then Speweik started driving inside or stopping in the lane for pull-up jumpers. Greatly improved post player Savanah Dutcher contributed all eight of her points in the second half and Westminster went on a 12-2 run ending the third quarter and starting the fourth to pull ahead 59-43 with 5:08 to play.
“We didn’t make a lot of layups, we didn’t adjust when they adjusted their half-court offense and we missed a lot of free throws (15-for-26),” Fisher said.
The adjustment Wesminster made was simply running effective high-low offense and getting Speweik the ball with room to drive.
“We’ve got a lot of weapons and sometimes on offense we’re not exactly sure which weapon we should attack with,” Flickinger said. “So tonight was a little bit of a lesson on that.”