The Titans had their best defensive output of the season.
West Salem High School’s No. 10-ranked girls basketball team used a solid defensive effort throughout and strong second-half offensive output to beat South Salem 41-31 Wednesday night in the championship game of the Central Valley Conference tournament on their home court.
The Titans switched between man-to-man defense and a 2-3 zone to keep the Saxons’ shooters in check.
“Our defense was unbelievable to give up only 31 points to a great team,” West Salem coach Jason Unruh said. “I’m just so proud of my kids. They really brought it tonight and that’s as proud as I’ve been of a team, man. I’m so excited.”
West Salem (22-3) was led by 15 points by Mary Savoy, and her twin sister, Irma, had eight.
Both teams move on to the Feb. 27 first round of the OSAA Class 6A state playoffs. The Titans will host a first-round game and South Salem (17-8) likely will be on the road in the first round.
Neither team led by more than four points in the first half and West Salem led 22-18 at half.
South Salem was more patient offensively to start the second half and quickly tied the game at 22 on a jump shot from the free throw line by Katie McWilliams, who led the Saxons with eight.
But Taylor Laney hit a 3-pointer to spark a 6-0 run and the Titans were up 29-24 after the third quarter. West Salem went on a 6-0 run to start the fourth quarter and built their lead to 11 points.
The Titans extended their possessions in the fourth quarter and forced South Salem to foul. West Salem went 6 for 7 from the line in the final minutes.