Turnovers doom Lady Flyers' playoff hopes (w/video, gallery )
Feb. 22, 2014 at 8:01 p.m.
Updated Feb. 21, 2014 at 8:22 p.m.
The third quarter of Saturday's TAPPS 4A second-round playoff game was one St. Joseph wanted to forget.
The Lady Flyers trailed Houston Westbury Christian 41-38 entering the fourth quarter but had trailed by as much as 11 points in the turnover-plagued third quarter.
Junior Kensey Marshall made sure her teammates and St. Joseph fans forgot about the six third-quarter turnovers when, just 30 seconds into the fourth, she drained a 3-pointer that tied the game at 41 and had the Lady Flyers' fans on their feet.
"It gave a lot of momentum to the team," Marshall said. "We all knew we had to put in that extra effort and work hard to actually get everyone going."
Less than a minute later, Kristi Hempel scored a quick basket to give St. Joseph the lead.
However, more turnovers would doom the Lady Flyers as Westbury Christian made 5 of 6 free throws in the final two minutes to win 49-45.
"We really thought we were going to take them today," St. Joseph coach Carrie Myers said. "They beat us last year in double overtime by one point. We thought this was going to be our day, and unfortunately, the balls didn't fall the way we needed them to."
Despite holding a two-point lead after the first quarter, the Lady Flyers saw Westbury Christian take the lead in the second quarter, thanks in part to a 8-0 run midway through the quarter and St. Joseph turnovers.
"Unfortunately, the bad passes turned into points for them," Myers said. "We made some silly passes and didn't play like I know we can."
Even with the bad passes and turnovers, the Lady Flyers had a chance for the win when Westbury's freshman Tyre Lormier fouled out of the game with 1:53 left to play and the score tied at 45.
St. Joseph, though, couldn't find the basket in the final minutes, including a missed layup with 30 seconds left and a two-point deficit.
Westbury's Marissa Banfield made both free throws with 19 seconds left on the clock that sealed the Lady Flyers' fate.
For seniors like Kalyn Hempel, Saturday's loss was especially heartbreaking.
"It's really hard because it's my last year to play, and, I don't know, with limited mistakes, we could have won," an emotional Hempel said. "We played our hearts out, and I think that's all that matters."
Despite Saturday's loss, the future is bright for the Lady Flyers with players such as Marshall and Iris Young returning for their senior seasons.
"A lot of these girls have played on varsity two years in a row, especially the sophomore group," Myers said. "They've gained a lot of experience and composure. We have a lot to look forward to."
Unfortunately for the St. Joseph seniors, there is no greener pastures to look forward to. All they have are the memories they've made over the last four seasons.
"Ever since I was a freshman here, I've felt like part of the team," Hempel said. "I really feel like these girls are my family because of how close we've grown together through this sport."
Houston Westbury Christian 49, Victoria St. Joseph 45
HALFTIME: Houston Westbury Christian 27, Victoria St. Joseph 25
POINTS: Houston Westbury Christian, Marissa Banfield 13, Ruby Ramirez 7, Sarah William 7, Hannah Cambel 8, Natalie Hamilton 1, Tyra Lormier 9. Victoria St. Joseph, Madison Foeh 6, Kristi Hempel 10, Kensey Marshall 11, Christine Janak 23.
3-POINTERS: Houston Westbury Christian, Hannah Cambel 2. Victoria St. Joseph, Kensey Marshall 3.