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.