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Westminster staves off Parkway North comeback bid

Westminster staves off Parkway North comeback bid

TOWN AND COUNTRY — Julia Coleman was ready for the spotlight.

The Westminster forward scored 16 points to help the Wildcats to a 65-53 win over Parkway North in a quarterfinal game from the 46th annual Visitation Christmas Tournament on Saturday.

The six-foot sophomore hit a pair of put-backs late in the third quarter to push a one-point lead to eight and send Westminster on its way.

Coleman came into the contest averaging 8.4 points per game. She nearly doubled her output with her best performance of the season.

“I do feel like I need to step up my game every now and then,” Coleman said. “For us to win, though, I feel like we all need to be playing our best games. Everyone has their moments where they shine. I guess it was big, but I knew my team was encouraging me to get there.”

Westminster (7-0) will face Webster Groves (7-1) in a semifinal game at 8:30 p.m. Sunday.

Wildcats coach Kat Martin felt as though her team was in command most of the night.

“I never felt like we lost control of the game,” Martin said. “Parkway North is a team that likes to go on runs. I felt very confident in what we were doing and how we were playing. It’s a day after Christmas, 7 p.m. game. It was a transition, fast-paced game and we were getting a little tired. We just had to settle down. Parkway North did a good job stressing our composure. We took a deep breath and came out and did what we needed to do. Julia comes out and she just makes plays happen.”

While the Wildcats pulled away late, it appeared as if Parkway North (5-2) might not be in the game at all.

Westminster jumped out to a 10-0 lead and held a 35-22 advantage at the break. It pushed the lead to 15 points early in the third quarter.

A 3-pointer by senior guard Elyse Marshall with 1 minute 35 seconds left in the third quarter trimmed the deficit to 43-41 before Coleman and the Wildcats restored order.

“We were a little sluggish in the first half and played a little disinterested at times,” North coach Brett Katz said. “We did a couple of different things in the second half. We got aggressive in going to the basket and got hot from the perimeter. We also switched a couple of (defensive) match ups I think were hurting us. You get back to where we did and you’ve got to finish. I was proud of the effort in the end.”

Westminster junior guard Brooke Highmark also added 16 points. Junior forward Carlie Vick had 13 points and junior guard Reilly Brophy 10.

Junior guard Aliyah Williams led North with 16 points. Senior guards Ali Jordan and Elyse Marshall added 15 apiece in the loss.

Webster Groves beat Lift for Life 70-62 in the last quarterfinal game of the day. Westminster beat Webster Groves 42-41 on Dec. 16.

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