Westview’s state route passes by Memphis
Posted: Wednesday, March 6, 2013 12:00 pm
By KEVIN WEAKS
MEMPHIS — The best Memphis apparently had to offer was no match for Westview.
The Lady Chargers followed Tiffany Rechis to a fast start and blew past Manassas on the way to Murfreesboro with a 62-35 win in the sectional round of the Class AA postseason Saturday night.
Hitting the road for the long trip to the state’s southwest corner had no adverse affect on Westview, which led from tip-to-buzzer against the Region 8AA champion to garner the program’s eighth state tournament appearance and first since 2010.
“We earned this chance to go to Murfreesboro and to celebrate it, but our mindset now is not to go there, hang out, have a party and play one game,” said Westview head coach Sean Stephenson, who is guiding his third Lady Charger team to the state tourney. “We want to play three games and win all three. That has to our mindset going up there. We have some motivated kids, and I’m sure that’s how they’ll go about it.”
The Lady Chargers will now play Elizabethton 1 p.m. Thursday in the Class AA State Tournament at the Murphy Center.
While Kaley Leyhue ignited the Westview fire with a pair of 3-pointers to open the game, Rechis fanned the flames as she knocked down seven treys on the night, including five in the second period. She finished with a game-high 27 points, scoring 22 in the first half.
“She played well,” Stephenson said of Rechis. “She’s a big-time player, and she likes the big stage. When she’s open, she can shoot it. She was aggressive and played well on both ends of the floor. She certainly gave us a spark, and we were going to run stuff to get her shots once she got going.”
Everyone on the floor for Westview got going literally from the opening tip.
Lady Tiger senior 6-foot post player Tiffany Jones, a UT Martin commitment, took a steal the other way for a basket and Phikala Anthony went coast-to-coast to put Manassas within 10-6, but Rechis quickly followed with a trey from near the top of the key for a 13-6 Westview lead.
Katelyn Luthi then popped open underneath and took a feed from Leyhue for a 15-6 advantage just ahead of the buzzer after Manassas milked the clock for more than two minutes only to come up empty when Jones missed a shot in the lane.
Manassas seemed to miss everything in the second quarter, and the Lady Chargers were quick to capitalize by scoring off transition and turning the game into a rout.
Rechis started the second quarter onslaught with a pair of treys, and Leyhue then followed with one of her own for a 24-6 lead at 5:35.
Teddy Vincent and Rechis then knocked down mid-range jumpers, and Rechis knocked down another triple to put the visitors on top 31-6 at 3:12.
Manassas finally scored at 1:19 when Anthony drove the left side of the lane for a five-footer, but then Rechis closed the half with two more threes, the last of her five for the quarter coming with one second on the clock to give her team a 37-8 halftime advantage.
“We weren’t going to try to make the game fast on defense, but when we got the ball, we wanted to push it back at them,” Stephenson said. “I thought we did a really good job of getting some transition points and some easy shots. Once you see the ball go in the basket some, it gives you confidence from the outside.”
Turning up the tempo and playing a more physical brand, Manassas put the Westview players on their heels early in the third period but never really made much of a dent in the margin.
Despite outscoring the Lady Chargers 18-12 in the quarter, the Lady Tigers were no closer than within 23 points as Layhue bottomed a triple and deuce early and Rechis added her seventh and final 3-pointer of the game.
“They’re a good team, and we knew they’d come out and play a little harder in the third quarter,” Stephenson said. “I thought we were able to handle the press. Once we managed to withstand the run, so to speak, I thought we were able to get the ball in the middle and get some two-on-one situations.”
Manassas got as close as 20 points, 51-31, in the final period.
Westview answered with six straight points, though, as Vincent hit a 10-footer in the lane and a pair of free throws around a basket in close from Luthi for a 57-31 lead at 3:44.
Behind Rechis’ 27, Leyhue had 14 points and Vincent 11 for the Lady Chargers, who connected on a dozen 2-pointers and that same amount of threes in addition to 2-of-3 free throws.
Anthony and Jones each had 12 for Manassas.
Published in The WCP 3.5.13