Westmoore sophomore Ashley Gomez just let it fly late during Thursday’s regional basketball playoff opener against Yukon.
Coach Andrea Guziec had the best view in the Choctaw gym, too, watching as her sophomore guard’s 3-pointer from the left corner was nearly perfect to give the Jaguars a three-point lead with 2:35 remaining.
That shot was just enough, though things certainly got interesting, as Westmoore held off the Millers 43-42 to win their regional opener for the first time since 2007.
“It’s fun when you’re standing right behind it, and you can tell it looks good,” Guziec said. “It’s been a long time since Westmoore’s been to the second round of the playoffs. That was definitely one of our goals, and we achieved it by a point, so we’ll take it.”
No. 18-ranked Westmoore (14-9) now faces No. 5 Choctaw in the regional championship game at 1:30 p.m. Saturday. Choctaw routed Putnam City West 66-19 later Thursday to advance.
Getting to that next game and sealing a trip to the area tournament next week was far from easy.
The Jaguars trailed from the opening of the game when they were awarded a technical foul for listing the wrong jersey number for Kaci Richardson. Yukon’s Kaylee Gault made a free throw for a 1-0 lead before action even started.
Westmoore never led until Bri Haun made a 3-pointer with 3:15 left in the third for a 29-28 lead. That was short-lived, though, as Yukon quickly took a 31-28 lead. The Jaguars responded with a 11-2 run that extended into the fourth for a 40-33 lead.
After a 7-0 run tied the game at 40, Gomez delivered the back-breaking shot and the Jaguars avoided disaster when the Millers missed three go-ahead shots in the final 30 seconds.
“We’re not going to win every game and we’ve experienced that this year,” Gomez said.” I think the experience being in tight ballgames like that helped us pull out that win. We’ve been in that situation many times this year.”
Gomez scored 12 points, while Richardson added nine points, seven rebounds and two blocks.
Sophomore Maci Exum scored 10 points for Yukon.
HERITAGE HALL KNOCKS OFF MEEKER
Heritage Hall might be peaking at the right time.
As a result, the ninth-ranked Chargers have now won six straight games and No. 6 Meeker is no longer among the unbeaten teams in the state.
Heritage Hall held off the Bulldogs 66-61 at Jones to advance to Saturday’s regional championship against No. 14 Tishomingo.
Both Morgan Meacham and Erike Wakefield delivered late for Heritage Hall, making crucial free throws down the stretch as Meeker tried to overcome a seven point deficit in the final 3:38. The Bulldogs got within two with 44 seconds remaining, but Meacham hit four free throws down the stretch to seal the upset.
SOUTHMOORE TOPS NORMAN, ADVANCES
Southmoore took control early and never relented as the 17th-ranked SaberCats beat Norman 61-42 to advance in the Class 6A regionals to face No. 2 Edmond Santa Fe on Saturday.
The SaberCats (12-12) led the Tigers 36-15 at halftime before having to hold off the young squad in the second half.
Juniors Kyeria Hannah and Serithia Hawkins combined to score 44 of Southmoore’s points, with Hannah leading the way with 23.
Edmond Santa Fe rolled past U.S. Grant 80-8 to set up an anticipated matchup Saturday.
Class 2A defending champion Northeast might have a different look this season, but the Vikings are finding ways to win as Oklahoma signee LaNesia Williams scored 22 points in a 31-23 win against Hennessey to advance to the regional championship....Dale routed Talihina 47-29 behind Dani Manning’s 17 points and Brayden Newton’s 14....Bri Kuestersteffen scored 16 points as Norman North beat Edmond North 61-45....Guthrie eliminated Southeast 57-45 behind the trio of Micayla Haynes, Kamber Smedley and Cassidy Jones, who combined to score 41 points. Guthrie faces No. 1 Shawnee on Saturday.