Western rolls past Walbrook for title Girls City-Wide championship

February 28, 1993|By Kevin Eck | Kevin Eck,Contributing Writer

Since her team had routed Walbrook by 48 points in December, one would think that Western coach Breezy Bishop would have had little to worry about before last night's City-Wide championship game against the Warriors.

But Bishop wondered how her team would react without sophomore guard Kimberly Smith, the Doves' catalyst on both ends of the court who suffered a season-ending ankle injury during a scrimmage on Tuesday.

She needn't have worried. The Doves (22-0) used a balanced attack to defeat No. 12 Walbrook (15-4), 76-52, at Dunbar, to win its third City-Wide title in four years.

The team has dedicated the rest of the season to Smith.

"[Smith] was our sparkplug," Bishop said. "She had been averaging 15 points and 6.5 assists and she is an excellent defensive player. When you take all that away, you lose a lot. Everyone had to step it up."

And they did.

Western sophomore forward Chanel Wright had a game-high 16 points to go along with 10 rebounds, four assists and three steals.

Senior Kelly Evans (15 points, 10 rebounds), sophomore guard Tesha Tinsley (14 points, 10 rebounds) and sophomore center Danielle Davis (12 points, eight rebounds) also scored in double figures for the Doves.

With the victory, Western avenged a 49-47 upset loss to Walbrook in last season's title game.

"I thought about it," Evans said of the upset. "I had some butterflies. But I think we were well-prepared mentally and physically."

That was obvious from the outset.

Western, ranked 15th nationally by USA Today and the top seed in the Class 4A, Region II playoffs, immediately established an up-tempo game and raced to a 12-4 lead by hitting six of its first seven shots. The Doves extended their lead to 22-11 after one quarter.

Wright scored 12 in the first half on six-for-nine shooting, as Western increased its advantage to 40-24 at halftime. The Doves shot 59 percent (17-for-29) from the field in the half.

"I told them at halftime not to give up," said Walbrook coach Pete Connally, whose team has clinched the top seed in the Class 3A, Region III playoffs. "I knew Western couldn't shoot as well in the second half."

He was right. Western missed nine of its first 11 shots in the third quarter, as the Warriors used a 13-5 run to pull within 45-37 with 3:01 remaining.

There would be no upsets this time, however.

The Doves ended the quarter on an 8-1 run and scored the first five points of the fourth quarter to take a 58-38 lead with 6:46 remaining. Western led by at least 18 and as many as 28 the rest of the way.

Senior point guard Tina Fauntleroy scored 14 to lead Walbrook, and sophomores DaShawn Coleman and Jamee Greenwood each added 11.

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