Nobody was going to stop the Manchester Westwood Lady Rockets from crashing the party in the 7-8 grade elementary league.
The Westwood girls completed a perfect run through the league Saturday night, beating Morrison 49-26 in the finals of the postseason tournament. It was the 17th straight victory for the Lady Rockets, who were a new addition to the elementary league this season.
“Saying I’m beyond excited about being undefeated is an understatement. It’s a first for me in my 25-year coaching career,” said Westwood coach Angela Houck. “I knew this was a special team when we first began practicing. Their work ethic and unselfish play continued throughout the season.
“It didn’t matter who was the high scorer or who got the most rebounds or who came off the bench. We are a family and we practiced and played like one – always supporting each other.”
Bryleigh Gray led all scorers in the title tilt, netting 13 points for the champions. Leonor Moreno was named tournament MVP after a seven-point performance.
Miranda Medley led Morrison with 12 points, including a hot stretch to start the game that gave the Lady Eagles so hope they could finally take down Westwood.
Medley, who pushed Morrison into the finals by scoring 20 points and hitting a game-winning shot in a 29-28 win over Centertown in the semifinals, canned a pair of early 3-pointers to spot Morrison a 9-2 lead. Jenna Newby added a jumper during the stretch, while the Lady Eagle defense seemed to find a groove in limiting Westwood’s balanced attack.
The script flipped in the second quarter though.
By the time Allie Sullivan powered her way to a three-point play with 5:05 left in the second quarter, the Lady Rockets had rallied to tie the game at 9-9. Moreno capped a 12-0 run with a 3-pointer from the corner with 2:22 to play, giving Westwood a seven-point lead and forcing a timeout from Morrison coach Chris Roberson.
The momentum never seemed to swing back though.
Westwood took an 18-10 lead into halftime, then grew it to 15 points by the end of the third quarter. Medley added another triple after the break, but Westwood’s spread attack ended in easy buckets to push the lead.
Gray scored all of her points in the second half, as did Princess Penaloza, who finished with nine points for the Lady Rockets.
Newby finished with nine points for Morrison as she sank a late 3-pointer to complete her team’s scoring. Jayla Garibaldi added five points in the loss.
Following the game, Medley, Newby and Garibaldi were named to the all-tournament team from Morrison. Penaloza and Gray joined Moreno as an all-tournament honoree.
Other all-tournament selections included Emma Miller and Krista Chisam (Centertown), Chloe Rogers and Kelly Bush (Eastside), Lily Rains (Dibrell) and Brooklyn Wanamaker (Irving College).