WESTMORELAND The Westmoreland High School girls basketball team started slowly but took control in the second half of Friday evening’s 40-29 victory over visiting Greenbrier.
The Lady Eagles trailed 15-14 at halftime before taking the lead in the third quarter.
“We’re coming along a little bit on the (full-court) press,” Westmoreland head coach Cherie Abner said. “We concentrated this week on the press, but we have a lot to work on. We see some progress.”
The Lady Eagles were coming off their second loss of the season, a 22-21 setback at Sycamore on Tuesday. Westmoreland’s losses have come by a combined margin of three points (including a 37-35, season-opening setback at Hendersonville).
“Our passing has gotten better against the zone (defenses),” Abner said. “We’re just not finishing in certain areas. We have to define some roles on offense, when to shoot the ball and who has the green light.”
The Lady Bobcats entered the contest on a nine-game winning streak.
Greenbrier (10-3 overall, 2-1 in District 9-AA) scored eight of the game’s first 11 points and held a four-point advantage when Westmoreland junior forward Karley Smith converted a three-point play to pull her squad to within a point at halftime.
Smith caught an entry pass from senior guard Jesica Eppstein and converted a layin seconds into the third quarter, placing her squad in front to stay.
Senior teammate Haley Braswell followed by making back-to-back 3-pointers, and junior point guard Gracie Oliver sank two free throws to cap the 13-0 run and give the Lady Eagles a 24-15 lead.
Westmoreland (10-2, 3-1) saw the lead shrink to five points following a layin by Lady Bobcat senior center Haylee Russell late in the third period, but the Lady Eagles scored the first six points of the final quarter.
Braswell produced all 10 of her points after halftime, and Smith scored a game-high 13 points.
Westmoreland forced 15 turnovers.
Sophomore guard Amanda Bennett and senior guard Kayla Jarrell led Greenbrier offensively with 13 and 10 points, respectively.
The Lady Eagles will be playing Ezell-Harding in Goodpasture’s Cougar Christmas Classic on Dec. 28 and will then face Nashville Central Christian on Dec. 29.