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Westlake Demons come back to defeat the North Royalton Bears
MORNING JOURNAL/JIM BOBEL Westlake’s Rachel Collins, right, goes up for a jump shot over two North Royalton defenders in the first quarter on Wednesday night at Westlake High School. The Demons defeated the Bears 52-49.
MORNING JOURNAL/JIM BOBEL Westlake's Taylor Hood, left, blocks North Royalton's Nikki Newman's shot in the first quarter Wednesday night.
MORNING JOURNAL/JIM BOBEL Westlake's Liz Kobe, right, closes her eyes as she goes up for a shot over North Royalton's Rachel Flis in the first quarter Wednesday night.
MORNING JOURNAL/JIM BOBEL Westlake’s Liz Kobe, left, slips the ball around North Royalton’s Rachel Flis in the first quarter Wednesday night.
Sparked by freshman Monica Fury, Westlake erased a double-digit deficit to snap a 3-game losing streak, defeating North Royalton, 52-49 in non-conference action on Wednesday night.
Fury scored nine of her game-high 15 points in the second half, including six points during a 13-0 run in the fourth quarter that gave Westlake a 49-47 lead.
“She has no fear,” Westlake head coach Chip Weiss said. “She battles every possession. I love it. She definitely wanted it tonight.”
Despite being a freshman, Fury played like a veteran, driving to the basket, crashing the boards and making her free throws (5 of 6).
“I wasn’t nervous because I play high-level AAU,” said Fury, who added seven rebounds. “I’m used to playing high-level competition. When things get hard, you have to play up to your competition level. I would like to have started off better, but I had to improve in the second half and push through to lead us to a win. We’ve had a few losses lately and we’re sick and tired of losing. We just wanted to win this. They were outworking us so we had to work harder.”
Leading 30-25 at halftime, North Royalton came out firing in the third, upping its lead to 11, 36-25, fueled by two field goals by Abby Miduri and a basket by Alison Smolinski.
Westlake answered back with a 12-0 run, including a layup by Liz Kobe, who scored her first basket of the night. Kobe had gone 0-for-7 from the field before making her first shot. She finished with nine points, all scored in the second half.
“They were pressuring me a lot,” Kobe said. “Whenever I would drive, their help defense would come over, so I just kept looking to dish. I just try to let the game come to me.
“I try not to think about missing shots. I have no memory. I just keep playing my game. We just kept putting the pressure and then eventually they got tired. We were able to get some steals and some easy baskets, and the momentum switched to us.”
Maggie Zimmerman played in her second game since returning from an ankle injury that caused her to miss nine games. She started the game with a 3-pointer seconds into the game, but North Royalton answered back with eight unanswered points, fueled by Smolinski, who scored six, including a 3. Zimmerman then answered the run with her second 3 of the game to make it 8-6. She finished with 13 points, including three 3s.
The Bears led the majority of the quarter until Westlake went on a 6-0 run, fueled by a pair of baskets by Rachel Collins and a field goal by Fury to put the Demons back up, 14-12. Allison Steward and Miduri closed the quarter with a basket each and North Royalton reclaimed a 16-14 lead after the first quarter.
The Demons took another lead early in the second quarter on back-to-back buckets by Fury and Collins to put them up, 18-16. However, North Royalton answered back again, this time with an 8-2 run to take a 24-20 lead. Collins then hit a 3 as the Demons kept it close, capitalizing on 10 turnovers by the Bears. Zimmerman provided Westlake its only other field goal before halftime, as North Royalton led, 30-25 at the break.
“It’s easy to look at the fourth quarter, but it just wasn’t that,” said North Royalton head coach Steffani Jaworski, whose team was plagued with 35 turnovers compared to 16 for Westlake. “We needed to take control of the game. We were two different teams in the first and second half. In the second half, it was reminiscent of a fire drill in here. We were rushing things a lot.”
Westlake improved to 10-7 with the win, while North Royalton dropped to 8-6.
Westlake 52, North Royalton 49
NORTH ROYALTON — MacKenzi Matthews 2-2 6, Nikki Newman 2-0 4, Alison Smolinski 5-2 14, Abby Miduri 5-0 11, Rachel Flis 1-1 3, Allison Steward 4-0 8, Julianne Lebo 0-1 1, Sami Minor 1-0 2. TOTALS 20-6 49.
WESTLAKE — Liz Kobe 3-3 9, Maggie Zimmerman 4-2 13, Monica Fury 5-5 15, Kelly Laraway 1-0 2, Rachel Collins 4-0 9, Allison Collins 1-0 3, Taylor Hood 0-1 1. TOTALS 18-11 52.
3-POINT GOALS — NR: Smolinski (2), Miduri; W: Zimmerman (3), A. Collins, R. Collins.
Score By Quarters
North Royalton (8-6) 16 14 12 7 — 49
Westlake (10-7) 14 11 14 13 — 52
Field Goals — North Royalton 20 of 45 (44 percent), Westlake 18 of 60 (30 percent).
Free Throws — NR 6 of 12 (50 percent), W 11 of 18 (61 percent).
Rebounds — NR 47 (Flis 12), W 32 (Fury 7, Zimmerman 6, R. Collins 6).
Turnovers — NR 35, W 16.
Last Updated: 1/23/2013 11:45:13 PM EST