Girls’ basketball: Westlake finally topples North Point

January 24

Entering Friday’s contest against No. 18 North Point, Westlake was eager to alter its recent history with its Southern Maryland Athletic Conference rival.

The No. 19 Wolverines had lost eight of nine against the defending Maryland 4A state champions, with their last win coming in January of 2010.

And after watching the Westlake boys’ team defeat North Point for the first time since 2009 in the first half of Friday’s doubleheader, the girls’ wanted to deliver a similar statement to their Waldorf neighbors.

The Wolverines didn’t play their best Friday night, hurting their cause with 28 turnovers, but they did just enough to knock off the Eagles at home, 63-56.

“This is one of the greatest moments. I wouldn’t trade this for anything,” senior guard Damira Banks said. “I’ve been trying to beat them since I was in the ninth grade.”

Banks scored timely back-to-back jumpers in the fourth quarter and finished with 11 points.

Senior Towson recruit Shanea Butler got involved in the offense early on and scored 13 of her game-high 16 points in the first half as Westlake took a 36-27 lead into the break. The lead grew to 13 midway through the third quarter.

But the defending state champions battled back and cut the deficit to one with less than six minutes remaining and Butler on the bench with four fouls. Brianna Hodges scored a team-high 15 points for the Eagles.

Butler returned to the floor one minute later and Westlake never relinquished the lead. With 32 seconds left and her team leading by three, Butler delivered a full court pass that was deflected but wound up in sophomore Nialaa Curtis’ hands. Curtis quickly scored a layup for her only basket of the game to help the Wolverines seal the victory.

“I knew a pass was coming and usually when [Banks] fumbles the ball she smacks it,” Curtis said. “Luckily, I was right there when she smacked it, but I’m used to their passes, so I grabbed it and put it in.”

The Wolverines will play four games next week due to this week’s weather postponements, and they will travel to North Point on Feb. 7 for a game that will count in the conference standings, unlike Friday’s contest.

Westlake took three deflating losses to North Point last season by an average of 30 points.

After the win the Westlake locker room was jubilant, and in the hallway outside, staff members yelled, “There’s somebody new on the top of the hill!”

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