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Westside Girls Win District, Qualify for State Tournament

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Westside Girls Win District, Qualify for State Tournament

The girls received a plaque after winning the district A-5 title.

The girls received a plaque after winning the district A-5 title.

Jonathan Snover

The girls received a plaque after winning the district A-5 title.

Jonathan Snover

Jonathan Snover

The girls received a plaque after winning the district A-5 title.

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Loud noises rang on the south side of the main gym at Westside High School on Friday evening, and dead silence came from the north as Westside senior Ryley Nolin found the net on a late-game layup. The sea of white that represented the Red Shield, the Westside student section, went nuts.

The Westside girls varsity basketball team played host to the Millard West Wildcats on Friday, February 22, 2019, in the NSAA District A-5 championship game. It started off slowly on the scoreboard, but not in the pace of the game, as the first points came two minutes and 25 seconds into the matchup. From there, the teams traded off baskets and Millard West found themselves up by one point at the end of the first. Fueled by star guard Chaise Pfanstiel, that lead grew to 30-21, and eventually it rose to 39-27 early in the third.

“[Millard West] really shot the ball well and they really had a lot of energy to start,” head coach Steve Clark said. “I just told them to keep playing. As long as we could get some rebounds and get ourselves going offensively, we could give ourselves a chance.”

And that’s when the run hit. Ella Wedergren, who finished the night with eight points to her name, got the run going with a layup with a little over three minutes to play, and Jasmine McGinnis-Taylor followed suit with an and-one opportunity. Millard West created space, but Abby Hellman halted the momentum with a three point shot from the corner. That’s when Nolin did her thing.

“I was supposed to step out for a three. That was the plan,” Nolin said. “But I was not shooting good the whole game, so I decided to take it in. I saw the lane open, and it ended up feeling good because I was really excited about the win.”

For some of the Warriors, including Nolin, the 51-45 win was their last home game in a Westside uniform. Nolin said it is a bittersweet feeling.

“I was excited to finish it off with a win,” Nolin said. “That’s exactly how I would ever picture ending it.”

The win automatically qualifies the girls for the 2019 NSAA State Tournament, which will run from February 28-March 2, 2019. The time and the opponent will be determined when the brackets are officially released early next week.

 

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