The tempo just wasn’t fast enough.
That was the halftime assessment as Westview High held a slim four-point lead over Our Lady of Peace in the second-day girls basketball matchup of the SoCal Holiday Prep Classic.
So, the Wolverines kicked it up a notch.
That proved to be the answer as No. 10-ranked Westview raced to a 68-48 victory over the Pilots in a game Thursday on the Wolverines’ floor that all but clinched a berth in Saturday’s finals in the Tournament of Champions 1 Division.
Westview’s fast-paced option worked to the tune of 38-22 in the second half.
“It took us a while to pick it up,” said Westview’s senior guard Ty Wheetley-Amaya, who scored 13 of her game-high 21 points in the second half. “By the time the second half started we were playing more like ourselves.
“We knew at halftime we could play better. We just had to make some better decisions.”
Westview (11-2) outscored the Pilots (9-4) by a 16-4 margin in the third quarter to pressure Our Lady of Peace into quickening its pace.
Elizabeth Smith-Carpenter and Wheetley-Amaya each scored four points in that third quarter.
The Pilots attempted 10 shots from the floor in that quarter and missed all of them, converting just four free throws.
Their first field goal after halftime came with 6:56 left to play on a 3-pointer by Kellie Ferrell, who paced OLP with 16 points.
By then, the Wolverines led 48-33.
“We wanted to shut down Kirsten Johnson and get a hand in the face of Ferrell and (Sara) Dale,” Westview coach Frank Quinones said. “We want to play tough defense and rebound. Last year rebounding really hurt us.
“The last thing we wanted was for them to control the tempo and slow it way down, which they prefer. We wanted to make it a track meet.”
The Wolverines turned a 30-26 halftime lead into a 46-30 advantage by the end of that third-quarter outburst.
Outside of the third quarter, the Wolverines outscored the Pilots by a slim 52-44 margin.
“Everyone knew what we had to do,” Wheetley-Amaya said. “It wasn’t chaotic enough in the first half.”
In addition to Wheetley-Amaya, the Wolverines got 15 points and five rebounds from point guard Courtney Krysl and 10 points with 11 rebounds from Smith-Carpenter.
Sophia Millay scored 12 points and Johnson added 10 points and 11 rebounds for OLP before fouling out.
“We still haven’t lost to a San Diego team,” added Quinones. “We beat Bishop Gorman out of Vegas and they’ve won a few state titles the last few years and OLP is a very good team.”
So, it turns out, are the Wolverines.