Westlake earned a convincing win in the second round of the 6A playoffs with a 49-21 victory over West on Thursday.
The Thunder started the game with immediate tight defense and great ball movement. The ball was slinging all over the court for Westlake, which resulted in multiple open shots.
Not only were the Thunder getting open looks, but they were hitting them at an efficient rate. Which quickly resulted in a 18-2 lead after the first quarter.
The stifling defense lasted throughout the game for Westlake, giving up only single digits in three quarters.
“I think for us our offense usually needs to flow through our defense,” said Westlake coach Devin Olenick.
“We can have trouble at times scoring in the half court. So for us its preaching defense, understanding the other teams tendencies, understanding their strengths and taking them away.
“We did a really great job of that tonight. They’ve got some girls who can really score the ball over there and our girls executed the game plan well.
“A lot of our focus was not allowing them to get to the rim, denying the ball inside, play a backside help, and we did a great job in the post and keeping in front of them.
“And when you come out and shoot the ball like we did then you just naturally get a boost of energy and confidence and you can get that to translate to the defensive side of the ball as well.
“When we’re locked in and get hot early then it can just kind of flow.”
Westlake kept the steady flow of offense and defense throughout the game and never allowed West to gain any life.
Westlake junior Austyn Feller led the scoring effort with 17 points, many of which were wide open thanks to some great passes from her teammates.
“Our coach tonight told us to play together and we executed that really well tonight,” said Feller.
“I think when we play together and play as a team it just meshes so well.
“Siona (Sauvao), Aysha (Torkornoo), and everyone they can really hit me in those spots. Sure, I’m in the open spot but it’s them that’s making the right pass.
“The extra pass is always what we need to hit, and we were telling each other ‘let’s hit the extra pass and play as a team’ and I think we executed that really well.”
Feller wasn’t the only one to shoot well for the Thunder. Chloe Jensen was substituted into the game in the third quarter and immediately hit back-to-back-to-back 3-point shots.
Jada Willis also put up 9 points on three 3-point shots for the Thunder.
With Thursday’s win, Westlake has earned a chance to take down the No. 1 seed Lone Peak on Feb. 28.