HAZELWOOD • The first 32 minutes of her final career home game personally left much to be desired, Hazelwood West senior guard Lakeita Chappel said.
The last four minutes were much more memorable as she elevated her game Wednesday and personally carried the Wildcats to the 55-46 win over Clayton in a Suburban Conference crossover girls basketball game at West.
Chappel scored eight of her 19 points in the extra period.
“It felt good because I felt like I didn't produce the rest of the game,” Chappel said. “For me to come through and help us win the game was a big thing for me. Just being on the court with these girls is amazing. It was a big win.”
Hazelwood West (14-9, No. 9 in the STLhighschoolsports.com large-schools rankings) snapped a three-game losing streak.
For much of the game, it looked as if overtime wouldn't be necessary.
West led by as many as 14 points in the second half before Clayton senior forward Pierce Sams took over. Sams, who along with the rest of the Clayton front court was stymied by 6-foot-5 West freshman center Abigayle Patterson for much of the game, broke loose when the Greyhounds (20-5, No. 10 small-schools rankings) needed it most.
Seven of her 11 fourth-quarter points came from the free-throw line and two baskets came in transition as Clayton overcame a 14-point deficit to tie the game on a jumper by junior forward Maddie Markenson with 14.6 seconds left.
“We hustled and we never really gave up,” Sams said. “We pushed our way through, even though we were down 14 points. At first, I thought since (Patterson) was tall, she was supposed to get the ball. I boxed out a lot harder after a while and figured out what her strengths and weaknesses were.”
Sams led Clayton with 22 points and senior guard Brooke Jones added 14.
While Chappel put West over the top and Sams got the Greyhounds to overtime, the duo of Patterson and junior guard and Mallory Meeks helped West build a lead.
Meeks had 23 of her 25 points in the first three quarters as West led 36-25 with eight minutes to play.
“I'm so glad we got the win," Meeks said. "I just tried to do my part.”
Hazelwood West coach Kelly Russell lauded the trio of Chappel, Meeks and Patterson.
While Patterson had just two points, her 12 rebounds and three blocks played big for West.
“We've been working on her toughness, day in and day out,” Russell said. “She's progressively getting better. She makes a difference in there. She changes things. Lakeita is a player. This girl (Meeks) is a player. We've got a team full of players. We're really looking to have this game springboard us into districts.”