Rams lose squeaker to Xavier, handle Sarah Reed with ease

Published 12:00 am Friday, November 28, 2008


Sports Editor

West St. John split two games at last week’s L.W. Higgins girls’ basketball tournament, defeating Sarah Reed on Friday but falling just short against Xavier Prep on Thursday.

The Lady Rams (2-1) nearly erased a nine-point deficit with less than three minutes remaining against Xavier, cutting it to one after Jasmine Young’s layup in the waning seconds of regulation.

But Xavier was able to hold on from there, taking a 50-49 win, handing WSJ its first loss of the season.

“The kids played real hard. It was a tough loss, and we’re disappointed,” said West St. John Coach Lester Smith. “Hopefully, we’ll learn from our mistakes.”

After Xavier went ahead by nine, WSJ turned up the defensive pressure and got back into the game after forcing a number of key turnovers.

“We went to the press,” Smith said. “That gave them a little trouble and we got back into it.”

Kayla Morris had another strong game, leading West St. John with 26 points. Shantell Pablo scored eight. Young scored six. Morris has scored 19 points or more in each game this season.

Smith says Morris, a junior who led the Rams in scoring last season, has improved her game greatly.

“She’s playing tough in the post,” said Smith. “She understands how to beat the double team now. She’ll get her shot off before it comes a lot of the time.”

Xavier Prep led 19-15 at halftime.

The Rams defeated Sarah Reed soundly on Friday, 51-17.

Morris scored 19 to lead all scorers. Pablo scored 16. Jayne Gordon added 10.

Morris scored eight of the first 10 Ram points as the Rams jumped to a 10-1 lead in the first quarter. That grew to 24-5 at the half. WSJ coasted from there.

“We defended pretty well,” said Smith. “We didn’t turn it over a lot offensively, and when they did. We were able to go down and score.”