PLATTSBURGH - Despite some late offensive miscues, Westport's defense held off the Blue Bombers and the Eagles defended their Section VII Class D girls basketball championship, beating Lake Placid 35-28 March 5 at the SUNY Plattsburgh Fieldhouse.
Westport suffered their lowest-scoring half of the season, managing just 10 points after halftime, but refused to give up the lead to the Blue Bombers after gaining a 25-12 edge in the first half.
Willa McKinley put the top-seeded Eagles in good position early, scoring six of her 11 points in the first quarter as several steals led to points in transition for Westport.
But the tables turned in the second half as Westport suddenly found themselves giving up a string of turnovers. The Blue Bombers took advantage, especially guard Molly Ploof, who scored seven of her 11 points in the third.
"We just lost our composure on the offensive end," said Westport head coach Hokey McKinley. "That allowed them to get back into it."
While the Blue Bombers came out with more intensity in the second half, Westport held fast on defense, limiting Lake Placid to just three fourth-quarter points.
"If we can't score, then we're going to make it hard for the other team," McKinley said.
And they did just that.
Lake Placid's Megan Riley, who has led her team with an average of about 13 points per game this season, was held to just four in the title game, though she still managed to collect nine rebounds.
"We were hoping we could get her to post up more instead of being out in the perimeter," said Lake Placid head coach Frank Johns, "but they adjusted."
Cierra Stephenson added seven points and nine rebounds for Lake Placid, which finished with a record of 16-5 for the season.
"Their defense was what really won the game for them," said Johns. "That's probably the toughest defense we've seen all year, and that's including the [Class] B schools"
Kalika Hopkins finished with seven points and Christina hit a pair of free throws late to finish with six for Westport, improving their record to 20-0 this season.
"They should represent us well in regionals," said Johns.
Westport 35, Lake Placid 28
1 2 3 4 - F
Lake Placid 6 6 13 3 - 28
Westport 14 11 7 3 - 35
Lake Placid (28)
Ploof 4-2-11, Riley 1-2-4, Caudill 0-0-0, Murphy 0-0-0, Stephenson 3-1-7, Balestrini 2-0-4, Thompson 1-0-2, Kemmerer 0-0-0, Temien 0-0-0, Daby 0-0-0, Nichols 0-0-0
Hopkins 2-3-7, Frum 0-0-0, A. Sherman 0-0-0, Robare 0-0-0, Rodriguez 2-0-4, M. McKinley 2-0-4, C. Sherman 2-2-6, McGee 0-0-0, W. McKinley 4-1-11, Sudduth 0-0-0, Rascoe 0-0-0, Markwica 0-0-0, Armitage 1-1-3, French 0-0-0
3-pointers: Lake Placid (1) Ploof. Westport (2) W. McKinley 2.