Westminster’s season ends in Elite Eight
By ALEC ETHEREDGE | Managing Editor
MONTGOMERY – While it didn’t come to an end the way they had hoped, this year’s senior class for the Westminster at Oak Mountain girls basketball team put together a special four years.
It came to an end on Monday, Feb. 17, with a 49-40 loss to Elba in the Elite Eight, but in the process we saw what made each of the three seniors special after making it to at least the Elite Eight in all four years, as well as two Final Four appearances.
Megan Gache posted a team-high 11 points in her final game, Virginia Welch posted a game-high 16 rebounds after going after every loose ball and Morgan White, the team leader, played on a twisted ankle the entire fourth quarter to try and will her team back.
It was special to watch, even in the loss, as each of the three seniors earned a spot on the All-Region team for their efforts and left a historic mark on the program.
In the game itself, Westminster started off with a 3-pointer from Gache, but struggled to find an offensive rhythm for much of the opening quarter.
Elba took advantage and went on a 15-6 run the rest of the quarter to take a 15-9 lead at the end of one.
In the opening quarter, Gache was the only scoring threat with seven of Westminster’s nine points, as Elba had done a good job of keeping White in check.
But Welch started displaying her effort early in the second quarter with four hustle points, which led to Westminster pulling within four points.
Elba held around a five-point lead the rest of the quarter until Gache grabbed a rebound with seven seconds to play in the half and went coast-to-coast to lay the ball in just before the buzzer.
That cut the Knights’ deficit to three points, as they went into the half down 24-21.
Coming out of the break, however, Westminster struggled to find a consistent offensive scorer, which especially became the case when White went down with an injury two minutes into the quarter.
That quickly turned a six-point game into a 10-point game in favor of Elba heading to the final quarter, as Westminster was outscored 10-3 in the quarter.
But in the final period, White came back and so did the Knights’ offense and aggressiveness.
Reave Metcalf started the quarter with a 3-pointer, and while Elba extended the lead to 12 after a quick 5-0 run, the Knights came back with an offensive put back form Gache, two straight baskets from White and another jumper to trim the deficit all the way down to four points.
But shortly after, Elba answered with a big and-1 that seemed to be the final blow, as they ended the game on a 10-4 run to pick up the win.
Westminster finished the season with a 21-6 record and a fourth straight trip to the Elite Eight.
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