By Scott Halasz Special Correspondent
January 6, 2014
KETTERING — They’re listed as forwards and centers, but after what they displayed against Beavercreek on Saturday, Fairmont’s Makayla Waterman and Kathryn Westbeld should add guard to their resumes.
“They run the floor, they handle the ball, they pass the ball, they do everything,” Lady Beavers coach Ed Zink said of the 6-foot-2 duo after they led the Lady Firebirds to a 59-38 win at Trent Arena. “They rebound well, they do everything well.”
Westbeld, headed to Notre Dame, scored 23 points, grabbed 12 rebounds and led a plethora of fast breaks while Waterman, headed to Ohio State, added 19 points and seven rebounds and dominated the paint against a smaller, but scrappy Beavercreek team. The duo also combined for seven assists.
Aubrey Zimmerman scored 10 points for Beavercreek while Kayla Shields and Maddi Shannon added eight each.
“For us to compete with them we had to play a perfect game and we didn’t,” Zink said. “We gave up too many fast-break layups. We just didn’t get back.”
It was the aforementioned fast break that did in the Lady Beavers.
Down just 15-11 at the end of the first quarter thanks to a buzzer-beating 3-pointer from Shannon, the Lady Beavers (9-4, 1-1 Greater Western Ohio Conference Central) were outscored, 16-4, as Fairmont (11-1, 2-0) rebounded and ran the floor at will. The lead went from four to 10 points in less than three minutes, mostly via transition buckets, and Fairmont was cruising 31-15 at halftime.
“The first half, it was the fast break,” Zink said. “We were down 16 at halftime and I bet 16 of those points were off fast breaks.”
It wasn’t by accident, either.
“That’s something we really stressed this year is transition,” Fairmont Coach Lacy Romine said. “The kids have really bought into it.”
That trend continued early into the third quarter, and at one point Westbeld had as many points (21) as Beavercreek.
“I think Westbeld’s eyes get really big when they see us coming,” Zink said. “The best thing I can say about them is they’re finally seniors.”
To their credit, the Lady Beavers did settle down late in the third. Shot selection was better and they forced a few uncharacteristic turnovers from Fairmont.
“We got back,” Zink said. “We were a little more patient.” Fairmont led 50-31 after three quarters.
Beavercreek hosts Springfield on Wednesday and plays Saturday at Wayne.