Girls Basketball: University can’t keep up with Westmoor in MLK Classic

University senior point guard Justine Li eyes the Westmoor defense on Monday at Terra Nova High School in Pacifica. (Photo by Devin Chen)

University senior point guard Justine Li eyes the Westmoor defense on Monday at Terra Nova High School in Pacifica. (Photo by Devin Chen)

By Bonta Hill

PACIFICA — In the Dr. Martin Luther King Classic at Terra Nova High School, University High School succumbed to Westmoor High School’s up-tempo style in a 60-47 defeat on Monday.

Kathleen Ocampo led Westmoor (10-5) with 15 points and teammate Erin Joo added 13 as the Rams blew the game open against University (8-7). Westmoor, which led 28-26 after a late surge in the second quarter, took complete control of the game in the third frame by forcing the Red Devils into 10 turnovers and increased its two-point halftime lead to 48-34.

University junior center Amelia King tries to get past a Westmoor defender on Monday at Terra Nova High School. (Photo by Devin Chen)

“The other team was in foul trouble and they were looking tired at the end of the second quarter,” Westmoor coach George Gama said. “I just told our team if we make our layups [and] pass, we should be able to pull this game out, and slowly but surely, we did.”

With the game starting at 9 a.m., University seemed to be the team that was awake early, as they shot 7-for-15 in the first quarter and led 14-11.

However, as University’s Justine Li and Amelia King got into foul trouble, Westmoor began to find its groove and had the momentum swinging its way late in the first half.

“We got off to a great start, and I don’t think their pace wore us down at all, I just think we just decided that we weren’t going to win the game,” University coach Ralph Barhydt said. “We just stopped playing and we didn’t run our offense. [Westmoor’s] defense is aggressive, but so is ours, and we just didn’t play like we normally do.”

Westmoor carried the momentum it built late in the first half into the third quarter as the Rams went on a 15-2 run, and held University scoreless for more than five minutes in the frame.

Even though University likes an up-tempo game, it simply couldn’t keep up with Westmoor as the Rams’ ball-handlers broke the Red Devils’ press often in the pivotal third quarter.

“We welcome anybody who wants to pressure us full-court. It’s a welcome sight,” Gama said. “It usually takes a while to get going, but once we crack the press, it usually results [in] us getting a lot of easy layups, and the other team getting tired.”

The third quarter doomed the Red Devils on the holiday, as University shot 2-of-15 in the frame and finished 19-of-59 from the floor. The Red Devils also turned the ball over 26 times.

“The first quarter looked like our team, the third quarter looked like a CYO team. The worst thing is we got over-anxious [on] defense,” Barhydt said. “I don’t think foul trouble really affected us, we just played a
sloppy game. Our team got up in time for the first quarter, but they went back to sleep.”

Li and King had a team-high 11 points for University, but they never were able to get into a rhythm due to their foul trouble. The Red Devils will look to rebound Friday against their Bay Counties League West rivals Lick-Wilmerding at Oracle Arena.

“We were getting stops and forcing turnovers in the first quarter, but when we got stops we turned the ball right back over,” Li said. “I wouldn’t say they were the better team, but we didn’t play up to our potential. If anything, I think we got frazzled [in the third quarter]. I know we can play against a team like that.”

Scoring Leaders

Kathleen Ocampo – 15
Erin Joo – 13
Makayla Evans – 9
Janelle Gacula – 9
Three players tied with 4 points

Amelia King – 11
Justine Li – 11
Alana Zack – 10 points
Three players tied with 4 points

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