WESTVILLE — In full disclosure, Westville girls basketball coach Mike Chandler wasn’t quite sure what to expect out of his team this year. His starting five consists of one senior, one junior, two sophomores, and one freshman.
In all, the Tigers don’t have an excess of varsity experience on this year’s roster. But, the area coaching veteran has so far been impressed with what he has seen.
Backing up Chandler’s claim, the Tigers took another step toward reaching their potential on Thursday and defeated the Georgetown-Ridge Farm Buffaloes 56-53 in come-from-behind fashion.
“I’ll be honest,” Chandler said. “I knew because of how young we are, it would be tough this year. They have surpassed my expectations at this point of where I thought we would be at the end of the year.
“They have surpassed my expectations of where I thought we would be this year. They are far ahead of schedule of where I thought we would be.”
Westville junior and three-year varsity member Jicee Lacey made sure her team continued to impress Chandler, and saw an opportunity to build on what it has already accomplished by stealing the win from the Buffaloes.
After a relatively quiet first three quarters, Lacey scored 10 the Tigers’ first 11 points of the fourth quarter. They fought their way back from a six-point deficit, and took their final lead of the game at 51-49 with three minutes, 23 seconds to play on a basket by Morgan Gallion (nine points, two steals).
It was the Tigers’ first lead since late in the second quarter when the Buffaloes (4-7 overall, 1-4 in the Vermilion Valley Conference) took control of the game. Georgetown-Ridge Farm used a 19-5 run in the second quarter and held Westville (4-9, 2-3) to only seven points in the period. Five came on free throws.