by Steve Peterson
It was a roller coaster of a game for Akron-Westfield and Spalding Catholic girls’ teams but a 12-6 scoring run to close it netted a 40-34 Spartans’ win on Jan. 11 in War Eagle Conference play.
A-W jumped to an 11-4 lead after eight minutes of play against Spalding Catholic.
But over the next 12 minutes of play, Spalding used its outside shooting prowess, at least for this Friday night, to gain a 28-18 lead.
But the Lady Westerners still had a lot of fight left in them, erasing the deficit for a 28-28 tie on a Sarah Schroeder basket with 5:30 left to go.
Spalding’s difference came from behind the arc, a 7-2 advantage that the Lady Westerners could not overcome.
Sophomore Carli Murphy led the Spartans, 3-9 overall, 2-5 WEC, with 22 points and four three-pointers. Abby Van Den Top, the team’s leading three-point shooter coming in, had three three-pointers and nine points.
A-W fought until the end, and it looked like it would have a 2-0 WEC week as they had defeated Marcus-Meriden-Cleghorn 45-26 on Jan. 8.
Against Spalding, Schroeder had 10 points while Kayla Tindall contributed nine. Kortney Hedlund added six and Dana Hedlund had five. Tindall and Dana Hedlund had the A-W treys. Tindall and Bethany Eastman led the team with seven rebounds each.
Schroeder’s steal and lay-up and a basket by Kortney Hedlund at the close of the third quarter gave the Lady Westerners hope with a 28-24 deficit heading into the fourth.
Schroeder and Tindall baskets gained a tie at 28-28 for the home team.
Van Den Top’s three-pointer and two free throws by Murphy opened up a five-point lead for Spalding. Murphy added a three-pointer for a 36-30 lead with 2:30 to go.
Kortney Hedlund’s outside shot brought A-W to within two, 36-34, with 1:08 left.
Murphy and Van Den Top had the critical Spalding Catholic hoops while A-W struggled on offense.
A-W, despite playing hard from start to finish, was 3-9 overall, 3-4 WEC games.
A-W was at Westwood of Sloan for a non-conference contest on Jan. 12.