T-D HS Basketball

Westinghouse girls dispatch Somerset

By: Mike Mastovich

EBENSBURG — Westinghouse missed a chance to play in the Pittsburgh City League championship, so the Bulldogs have their sights set on another crown as part of the District 6 Class AAA girls’ basketball playoff field.
“We were a little disappointed because in our own City League championship match, we didn’t get there,” Westinghouse coach Phyllis Jones said after the Bulldogs defeated a youthful Somerset Area squad, 61-43, at Central Cambria High on Monday.
“We’re used to getting there – 26 years in a row,” Jones said. “Last week we didn’t get there. They have something to fight for, and that’s what we’re working towards.”
The Bulldogs’ inside game was too much for the Golden Eagles (7-13) to handle, as Brittany Jackson had 20 points and 19 rebounds, and Taniah Lockhart had 15 rebounds and nine points.
“They were a tough team inside and everybody we’ve played this year has been an outside shooting team,” Somerset coach Lindsey Deaner said. “Our inside game struggled a bit. We’re very young. My center is a 14-year-old freshman (Madison Reeping).
“We told her, ‘That’s who you want to be like. You want to be able to master the inside like they do.’ ”
Reeping had 10 points and eight rebounds for Somerset. Senior Ashley Welsh had 10 points. Senior Jaleen Martin had two 3-poiners for six points.
“They could have lost by a hundred but they gave it everything they had,” Deaner said. “This year has been exceptional. We had three wins last year and we won seven this year, with two overtime losses and two losses by one. I can’t ask for a better group of girls. They’ve worked hard and they were willing to learn and get better.”
Westinghouse’s Jackson set the tone early, driving to the hoop and either making her shots or grabbing rebounds to set up points. The 5-foot-10 senior had 10 points and six rebounds in the first quarter as the Bulldogs led 22-10.
“Brittany has been our player for the last couple years,” coach Jones said. “Brittany is an all-around player, very coachable, and she works hard.”
By halftime, Jackson had 12 boards and 12 points, and the Bulldogs led 35-22.
Westinghouse controlled the paint with 23 first-half rebounds, though Somerset’s 12 second-quarter points kept the Golden Eagles in striking distance.
“It’s real good for our younger girls,” Deaner said. “I have three freshmen that see a lot of time and a sophomore. I look for them to build on this experience and use it to their advantage in the future.”
Westinghouse advances to the semifinals and will face sixth-seeded Greater Johnstown on Wednesday.

Mike Mastovich is a sports writer for The Tribune-Democrat. Follow him on Twitter at twitter.com/masty81.