Class 3A No. 4 Westlake grabbed the lead twice in the second half, but the Class 5A No. 9 Sulphur Tors used its rebounding advantage to pull away with a 43-34 on Friday night.
With senior center Moe Patterson drawing double teams most of the night, fellow senior Raegan Ojoro had a season-high 16 rebounds to help Sulphur (18-4) to a 37-23 advantage on the boards. Patterson had 12 points and eight rebounds but was held scoreless in the second half.
“I did not expect them to be as physical as they were” Sulphur head coach Helen Lefevre said. “I thought Westlake did a great job of getting us out of our offense.
“They forced us to read them more than we normally do, then just execute the offense we wanted to run. It took us longer to adjust. We were not getting the easy looks inside. I thought the difference in the game was our boards. We would get some shots that sometimes I felt there should have been a call, then get a rebound and put it back up.”
Ojoro, who had a double-double, was at her in the fourth quarter, scoring all 10 of her points while pulling down five rebounds plus an assist on Addie Tremie’s go-ahead three with 5:54 left in the game. Ojoro went 8 for 9 from the free throw line in the final two minutes.
“She (Ojoro) has been struggling from the free throw line for several games,” Lefevre said. “She stepped up to get the ones we needed tonight. She had a big game for us.”
In its previous meeting with the Tors, Westlake (12-5) struggled in a 60-38 loss on November 27, but the Rams never trailed by more than five points until this time late in the fourth quarter when the Tors closed out the game on a 9-0 run.
“The last time we played them, I think they beat us by 22 points,” Westlake head coach Gloria Fontenot said. “It was early in the season.
“To see us come from that to where we are now and go head-to-head if we play them again maybe we beat them next time. We didn’t execute the shots we should have or needed. I thought we did a really good job on our defense overall. I am still proud of the girls. They wanted it and worked hard. Sulphur is a good team.”
Sulphur took a 19-12 lead with 4:28 left in the first half on a shot in the lane by Patterson, but the Rams closed the gap with a 7-0 run. Mikalah Buckley tied the game at 19-19 with a three-pointer with 32 seconds left in the first half.
Sulphur tried to pull away early in the third quarter on a shot off the glass and a three-pointer by Addy Tremie, who finished with a game-high 17 points and eight rebounds, but Westlake rallied again, this time with a 7-2 run to tie it up at 26-26 heading into the fourth quarter. That run included the Rams’ first lead of the game, 26-24, on a fastbreak by Buckley.
A pair of three-pointers by Jada Gasaway put the Rams up 32-20 with 6:05 left in the game, but Westlake went 1 for 14 down the stretch.
“We kind of lost what was working for us in our offense,” Fontenot said. “I don’t know why. We were not working the offense as much as we should have.”
Destiny Peltier led Westlake with 12 points, and Buckley finished with 11.
Westlake surged ahead with a 25-point second quarter to beat Sulphur on the road Friday 63-45.
Sulphur (7-13) took a 7-6 lead late in the first quarter, but it would be the only one for the Tors.
Westlake (8-6) outscored Sulphur 25-7 in the second quarter and led 31-14 at halftime.
Brothers Novan and Travon Gray fueled the Rams second quarter surge with a combined 19 points.
Novan Gray finished with 15 points and Travon Gray added 11.
Also for Westlake, Drew Winn scored 14 points, Jamaal Guillory had 10 and Chris Pryor came off the bench to score 13 points.
Ashtyn Lilly led Sulphur with 15 points, including 11 in the fourth quarter. Kaleb Vizier finished with nine points.