WBK: Warriors win opener in CHM Hotels Classic

Celina Gougis tallied 21 points and Kelsie Sampson poured in 16, leading Westmont to 65-44 win over 18th-ranked Carroll of Montana in a first-round game of the inaugural CHM Hotels Basketball Classic at Murchison Gym on Friday.

In the other game,  sixth-ranked Freed-Hardeman of Tennessee  defeated  No. 10 The Master’s  75-68.

The invitational will continue Saturday afternoon with Carroll and The Master’s facing off at 1:30 p.m. and Freed-Hardeman and Westmont following at 3:30 p.m.

Both of tomorrow’s games are rematches from the 2013 NAIA National Championship. In the first round last March, Carroll defeated The Master’s 73-58 while Westmont claimed a 59-49 semifinal win over Freed-Hardman.

Gougis shot nine of 15 from the floor, added four assists and pulled down seven rebounds for the third-ranked Warriors

Carroll was led by Kalee Junkermier with 19 points and four rebounds. Junkermier made four of five from three-point range. Bailey Snelling added another 10 points for the Fighting Saints.

After giving up the first two points to free throws by Jordan Bagley, Westmont responded with an 8-0 run consisting of a layup by Gougis, two free throws by Erin Beadle (7 points), a free throw by Lauren Sende (5 points, 6 rebounds) and a three-pointer by Esther Lee (6 points). Westmont maintained its lead throughout the opening frame and took a 29-23 advantage into halftime.

A 9-1 run to start the second half put the Warriors in control of the contest. Gougis opened the half with a jumper and Sampson followed with a layup and jumper. After a free throw by Snelling, Sampson scored again before Lee drained a shot from downtown. The Warriors led by no less than 10 points the rest of the half.

Taleeah Cross scored 30 points for Freed-Hardeman in the second game, making 10 of 13 shots from the floor. She also connected on 10 of 12 from the charity stripe. Two Lions had double-doubles with Haley Newby notching 18 points and 14 rebounds and Grace Alonso do Armino scoring 15 points and pulling down 11 boards.

The Master’s was led in scoring by Zoe Scott with 19 points, including eight of nine free throws. Millie Rivera posted 13 points, going four of six from the field and two of two from three-point range. Jacquelyn Marshall tallied eight points and 11 rebounds.