BAY VILLAGE - Brooke Henderson had a chance to beat Rocky River with a shot at the buzzer last weekend. It didn`t quite get there and Westlake dropped a one-point heartbreaker in its season opener.
Opportunity knocked again on Wednesday with the Demons seemingly headed for defeat on the court of one of their oldest and feistiest rivals.
This time she didn`t miss. Henderson, a 5-foot-7 senior guard, drilled a 3-point basket to the right of the circle as time ran out and Westlake nipped Bay`s Rockets
61-59 in non-conference action.
Henderson`s shot was the exclamation point on a comeback that found the Demons trailing 42-28 three minutes into the third quarter. It also came after Bay`s Sarah Vick drove for what appeared to be a basket giving the Rockets a 59-58 lead with 21 seconds left.
But the shot was waved off on a traveling call. Bay got the ball back after Henderson missed a foul shot with 15 seconds left. This time the Rockets` Megan Williams hit a shot from the left of the lane for a 59-58 lead with four seconds to go.
Westlake took timeout at half court and coach Chip Weiss set up a play for Henderson - the same play the Demons ran at the end of their loss to Rocky River.
This time it worked.
"My shot was kind of off the whole game and I didn`t want to take it, especially after I missed that foul shot," said Henderson. "I was kind of moping around like I shouldn`t be. But I told myself to keep my head in the game, it`s not over yet. So I just took it and it went in.
"We`ve run that play a couple times. We usually only run it when there`s a couple seconds left for a last shot. There`s me coming up on top and there`s also a look for (Amelia) Serrat. But they took Serrat away with her having such a good game. That left me open and gave me a chance to win the game."
Bay coach Chris Brewer said the Rockets did everything defensively they planned to do.
"We did everything we wanted to," said Brewer. "We switched out, and we just told the kids, â€˜We`re not going to let them score from the foul line. She`s (Henderson) going to have to make a shot,` and she did. We said in the locker room, â€˜Did that shot beat us? Yes, it did. But the third quarter is what killed us.`"
Bay was behind 15-9 late in the first quarter, but finished with a little spurt to trail just 16-16 after eight minutes. Then with Sarah Vick scoring eight points, the Rockets went on a 13-2 run that took up about five minutes of the second period to lead 34-28 at the break.
To open the second half, Vick scored two baskets and Katie Kinkelaar one â€“ all from close range â€“ and Megan Williams added a pair of foul shots as the Rockets moved ahead 42-28. But Westlake went on a 15-2 run to pull within 47-43 heading into the final eight minutes. Freshman Kalpana Beach scored six points, Ann Ryan four and Sammy Kilbane hit one of three 3-point baskets during the rally.
"That was a great game," Weiss said. "I`m very, very proud of the way we came back. We had a really bad start to the third quarter. They had 10 points on us, things weren`t going our way.Â But we just kept plugging away and played a full-court zone a little bit. They had a couple turnovers and we scored."
"A couple turnovers" doesn`t quite say it. The Rockets committed 12 turnovers in the period. And the Demons again held Lindsey Lowrie scoreless, as they did for the last 30 minutes of the game. Her only basket, a 3-pointer, came in the first two minutes. Part of the reason was that Lowrie picked up her fourth foul three minutes into the third quarter.
The Demons` Ryan and Rockets` Vick each scored 16 points. Beach finished with 13 for Westlake and Kinkelaar with 10 for Bay. The Demons` Henderson and Kilbane scored nine points each.
Westlake 61, Bay 59
WESTLAKE (61): Sammy Kilbane 3-0-9, Brooke Henderson 4-0-9, Rosa LaMattina 1-0-2, Natalie Bechtel 0-0-0, Amelia Serrat 5-0-12, Kalpana Beach 5-3-13, Ann Ryan 6-2-16, Lauryn Smith 0-0-0. Totals 24-5-61.
BAY (59): Brittany Wenzell 3-1-7, Libby Butler 1-0-2, Kate Ludwig 1-0-2, Megan Williams 3-2-8, Angie Kazanas 0-0-0, Bridget Barrett 2-0-4, Pam Urwin 3-1-7, Katie Kinkelaar 4-0-10, Sarah Vick 8-0-16, Lindsey Lowrie 1-0-3. Totals 26-4-59.
Westlake Â 17Â 11Â 15Â 18Â - Â 61
BayÂ 16Â 18Â 13Â 12Â - Â 59
Three-point goals: Westlake 8-16 (Kilbane 3, Ryan 2, Serrat 2, Henderson); Bay 3-9 (Kinkelaar, Lowrie. Field goals: Westlake 24-69 (34.8 percent); Bay 26-60 (43.3 percent). Free throws: Westlake 5-8; Bay 4-8. Rebounds: Westlake 40; Bay 46. Turnovers: Westlake 20; Bay 26.
Junior varsity: Bay, 44-13.