MARTIN – With many of the components from last year’s state semifinalist team graduating after the season, the Westview girls’ basketball team needed younger players to fill roles and a reliance on defense to win games.
In the region tournament thus far, the Lady Chargers have gotten just that out of their team.
Westview had another stingy defensive effort and 20 points from freshman Tasia Jones for a 44-29 victory over Lexington in the Region 7-AA semifinals at Westview on Wednesday.
“I knew that my team needed me,” Jones said. “And I knew that it was time to take over.”
The Lady Chargers (21-12) advance to play Crockett County in the Region 7-AA championship on Thursday at 6 p.m. Lexington ends its season at 20-7.
Westview’s defense was tough for the Lady Tigers to try and get around. The Lady Chargers used their length to get into passing lanes.
“It was a team effort,” Jones said. “Our team played hard the whole game on defense and helped the helper.”
As a result, Lexington didn’t score more than seven points in a quarter until the fourth.
Westview struggled at times with its offense in the quarterfinal win over South Side and did not hit a 3-pointer. That was not the case in the semifinals.
“We pulled our bigs away, and that gave us angles,” Westview coach Brian Haskins said. “Tasia did a good job attacking.”
In the second quarter, Jordin Greene and Heidi Craddock hit 3-pointers that helped the Lady Chargers build a 13-point lead by halftime (26-13).
A 3-pointer by Alexus Taylor to open the second half increased the lead.
Adi Hale finished with 13 points for the Lady Tigers, but she couldn’t find her shot very often as Haskins put his best defender – Titi Vincent – on Hale.
“Adi is a good scorer, and Titi is a good defender,” Haskins said. “It was a good matchup. She also picked up a couple of fouls early, and she took some tough shots.”
This marks the second straight season that the Lady Chargers have ended Lexington’s season in Martin.
“I am proud of them with what we lost and what we are doing with this group,” Haskins said. “It is all them. These two games have opened their eyes. They read the papers and visit the website, so they saw how good these teams are.”
The region championship meeting will be the fourth meeting of the season with Crockett County. Westview won twice in the regular season before the Lady Cavaliers won in the District 13-AA title game.
“It feels good to be in the championship game, and after losing district, we are going to try and win region,” Jones said.
Michael Odom, 425-9754