South Loses a Chance for a Three-peat, Foils a Robbery
On Mar. 10, the lady Saxons lost the opportunity for a three-peat championship, placing third after losing to Oregon City 54-46 in the semifinals.They went on to play Grant the following day, securing the win 58-53. This is the fourth year the team has placed at the state tournament.
During their consolation game, by the second quarter the Saxons were down by a total of 21 points, before narrowing the gap to 10 by half time. Evina Westbrook ‘17 led the team with 28 points and 11 rebounds. Dani Harley ‘17 followed with several three pointers, earning a total of 16 points.
Westbrook led the tournament with an overall average of 26 points per game, 8.7 rebounds, 3.0 assists, and 2.7 steals per game. This also marks her third year as a unanimous all-tournament selection. She was Oregon’s only unanimous selection for 2017.
After the team’s loss to Oregon City Friday night, Westbrook forgot her jersey at the Chiles Center. Coach Nick McWilliams left the team as they went to eat lunch at Red Robin in the Lloyd Center Saturday afternoon. When they came out, two people had broken two windows on their team bus in an attempt to steal the player’s bags.
“They were in the process of throwing all the bags to the back of the bus,” assistant coach Mark Burleson said in a StatesmanJournal article.
It appeared that that the two robbers, a man and a woman, were attempting to consolidate all the items in the back of the bus. Their car was parked next to it, the door open. A couple of player’s bags had already been thrown in the backseat. Several girls surrounded the car and managed to save a few of the stolen bags.
Westbrook was nearly hit by their car as the robbers made their getaway, however.
“They basically peeled through us across the intersection and then took a left. Then we called 911,” Burleson said.
Meanwhile, Faith Schuetz ‘17 was bitten by a dog belonging to the thieves.
In the end, four bags were taken, and replacement jerseys had to be dropped off at the Chiles Center by athletic director Brian Armstrong.
All together, the lady Saxons’ record is 104-13 over the last four years.
“South Salem, we’ve been a dominant program the last four years,” South Salem coach Nick McWilliams said in a StatesmanJournal article. “We have a fourth, a third and two firsts. That’s like Oregon City territory, Southridge. I don’t know what else you could say.”
He places some of the notoriety of South’s program on Westbrook and her accomplishments.
“Obviously we’ve had a lot of other really good players,” McWilliams said, “but her influence has been incredible and really tough to replace a person like that.”