West Side Schools
Through the clamor of Senior Night, it was a Lady Eagle underclassman who made the most noise.
Junior, Ciara Roberson, rang up 23 of her game-high 27 points after intermission to pace the West Side senior girls’ 67-52 victory over Abundant Life Tuesday night at Brady-Hipp Arena. The win lifts West Side to 17-11, 8-2 on the season.
Roberson’s mid-range jumpshot stung the Lady Owls repeatedly in the second half.
“Tonight [Roberson] played her role in the offense well,” Lady Eagles coach, Cody Richey said. “She was able to shoot with a good, fluid motion and knock down shots.”
In her last regular-season appearance at Brady-Hipp Arena, senior, Bryanna Smith, tallied 24 points to keep constant pressure on the Abundant Life defense. Smith grabbed 4 of her 8 total rebounds in a key fourth-quarter stretch that saw West Side outscore Abundant Life 11-0 and salt away the win.
“You can always count on [Smith] to step up because she works harder than just about anybody on the floor,” Richey said. “She will be missed when she leaves and we hope we can have someone step up that will be her equal.”
Before the game, West Side paid tribute to all its senior athletes, including point guard Alli Broadway, who will suit up for Crowley’s Ridge College in the fall. Broadway had 6 rebounds, 6 assists and 5 steals in Tuesday’s win.
Richey said he will count on his outgoing seniors for leadership in next week’s district tournament.
“The seniors have been the cohesiveness that’s held everyone together,” he said. “As the season’s gone on, they’ve stepped up and taken that leadership role we’ve needed all season. And we’re hoping that’ll take us right through to our first state tournament in nine years.”
Abundant Life came out firing, as multiple 3-pointers from Carson Pack, Claire Debusk and Sadie Carrell powered the game Lady Owls to a 33-31 halftime lead. The Lady Eagles would reclaim the advantage early in the second half on back-to-back steals by Broadway that set up fast-break baskets by Roberson.
Abundant Life pulled to within 48-47 on a Debusk trey early in the fourth. Smith was fouled on a cutter, resulting in an old-fashioned 3-point play to spark the Lady Eagles’ decisive run.
Broadway added 6 points for West Side, while Faith Birmingham scored 7 and Kaitlin Towell had 3.
West Side will take the floor for its regular-season finale on Friday at White County Central. The Lady Eagles open district tournament play on Tuesday at Brady-Hipp Arena. Tipoff is set for 6:30 p.m. against the Southside-Bradford winner.