SYRACUSE, NY (WSYR-TV) — It was clear from just a few minutes of talking with the CBA and Westhill girls basketball teams that both squads love to push the ball. This could make for an exciting high paced game when these two teams meet up on Monday night for NewsChannel 9’s Game of the Week.
“We like to go up and down as fast as we can,” CBA girls basketball head coach John Niland said. “It forces other teams to play faster than they’re capable of play, maybe not capable, but they haven’t seen it yet.”
CBA’s fast style of play has led the Brothers to a 7-0 start, and CBA is winning by an average margin of victory of 34.5 points. However none of these stats scare the Warriors, who made it to the section final in Class B last season.
“I never feel like an underdog,” Westhill girls basketball head coach Sue Ludwig said. “We always should step onto the floor like we are going to win the game. We have a great tradition here, and we got to keep that mindset going.”
Westhill has had an up and down season at 4-4, but the Warriors say they just need to get off to better starts.
“Lately, we’ve been fighting back, and we haven’t come out strong to be on top from the beginning, so I think if we come out with a punch and start right from the get-go we’ll have them,” Westhill senior forward Jenna Larrabee said.
Jenna Larabee has been a focal point for Westhill this season, leading the Warriors in points in every game.
Ludwig said, “Jenna’s tough, she just comes in every day, she gives 100%, she gets up and down the floor, which for a big is great and what we need, she has a nice little outside shot, she’s fundamental inside. So, she’s a complete player.”
Niland said, “You’re not going to stop her, but can we contain her? [She’s a] high-energy kid, offensive rebounding off the charts and she knows how to draw fouls, so she’s a big scare.”
“I watched them play, and she was getting a lot of rebounds, so I think boxing her out and playing up close with her will help us win the game,” CBA junior forward, Leana Heitmann said.
CBA has a two-headed monster when it comes to scoring, with forwards Brooke Jarvis and Leanna Heitmann.
“We play well together, we have a good chemistry going, and we’re close friends outside of basketball, so that definitely helps our chemistry in the game,” CBA senior forward Brooke Jarvis said.
“I think we just play the odds,” Ludwig said. “You try and make the kids who maybe aren’t their known scorers, to be the scorers for them, and make it a little bit tighter on the kids who are the scorers.”
If the game between Westhill and CBA isn’t decided by their top scorers, then it will most likely come down to which point guard can get their players the ball in the best spots.
“Emily Hall gets the ball to people like you’ve never seen before,” Niland said. “She gets the ball and she can throw it on a dime 80 feet. So, she’s kind of the heart and soul in that transition. Get her the ball and everyone run, and then we’re pretty good.”
Westhill senior point guard Erica Gangemi said, “Literally my favorite thing about it is just going through people, and then dishing it off to one of the posts or one of the players outside.”
One thing you can count on for Monday is that Westhill and CBA will both be well prepared, as Sue Ludwig and John Niland are two of the most highly regarded coaches in Central New York.
The game tips off at 6:45 p.m. from Westhill High School on Monday, and can be live streamed on the NewsChannel 9 website or mobile app.
For updates on this game, follow Anthony Scott on Twitter @A_Scott17
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