By Nancy Haggerty
RYE BROOK — Their bench was short. But the Westlake Wildcats, nevertheless, proved to be deep, getting points from six of seven dressed players in a 53-48 win over host Blind Brook on Thursday.
The win, which avenged an earlier loss to the 5-7 Trojans, upped the Wildcats’ season mark to 9-2.
The game was back-and-forth before Westlake extended a three-point halftime lead to eight points entering the final quarter.
The Wildcats got 12 points from Tori Oswald, 11 from both Lauren Holzer and Katie Cullen, and 10 from Katie Schmid.
But some baskets proved bigger than others.
Westlake dominated early, leading 8-2. But Blind Brook came roaring back to lead 13-10 at the end of one quarter.
The Trojans extended their lead to 27-20 with less than three minutes left in the half after Emily Sachs (12 points) buried one of her four 3-pointers, Olivia Brettschneider (11 points) crashed the offensive boards for a rebound, then put in a layup, and Carly DiScolo (three points) hit a 3-pointer.
But Westlake controlled the rest of the half, scoring the last 10 points to lead 30-27 at the break.
Included during its run was an Angela Mangione (two points) layup, a Natalie Alfieri (seven points) steal and layup, a game-tying Cullen 3-pointer and an Alfieri layup at the buzzer.
“We came with seven players. I said, ‘Each of us needs to do one thing better.’ We did that,” Westlake coach Sean Mayer said.
Blind Brook, which trailed by as many as nine early in the fourth quarter, pulled to within 48-45 with 2:33 left when Rhaenna Maitland scored inside, was fouled and hit her foul shot.
But the Trojans mustered little offense after that.
“We haven’t been shooting well the past couple of weeks,” Blind Brook coach Manny Martinez said. “When you play against a zone, you’ve got to hit more shots.”
Pointing to the absence of ill starter Faith Lovett and sixth man Sam Kane, Oswald said, “We knew we had to step up.”
“We can fall flat sometimes but we can pick it up. That’s what I love about this team,” Oswald added.