WBK: Karr drives Westmont past Bethesda

Junior Krissy Karr tallied 23 points, sparking No. 11 Westmont to a 67-58 women’s basketball win over the visiting Flames of Bethesda on Saturday.

Karr dropped in five three-pointers as the Warriors drained 14 buckets from beyond the arc.

“Krissy set the tone from the beginning and had great command on the court,” said Westmont head coach Kirsten Moore, “not just with her scoring, but she also had seven assists, three steals and was getting deflections.”

The Warriors fell behind 9-0 to start the game as the Flames’ Lisette Longomo (21 points, 4 rebounds) accounted for all the early scoring. A quick time out by Moore and a change of defensive strategy got the Warriors back on track. Karr and Celina Gougis (12 points, 3 rebounds) knocked down back-to-back threes to spark the comeback.

“I was really proud of the girt my team showed,” said Moore. “We have been focusing on being a gritty team when things get tough – and things have been tough. We needed that grit to get a win tonight against a very athletic, very dangerous team. We were able to maintain the lead most of the game, but it was neck and neck. Every basket mattered and every stop mattered and every rebound mattered.”

Another of Gougis’ four three-pointers gave the Warriors a 21-21 tie with seven and one half minutes to go in the opening frame. The lead seesawed back and forth in the rest of the half before Karr drained another from beyond the arc to send the Warriors into halftime with a 33-29 advantage.

“I thought our guards played great tonight,” said Moore. “They were very aggressive against a team that played all zone. We had Esther (Lee) out, but we had people step up. Karlie Storkson and Amiee Brakken also came in off the bench and hit big threes.”

Lee was sidelined with an injury for today’s contest.

Westmont opened up the second half with a 12-4 run to go up 45-33. However, Bethesda scored 12 of the next 13 points to pull within one 46-45 with nine minutes showing on the clock.

Aysia Shellmire (7 points, 7 rebounds) responded with a layup to extend the Warrior lead to three. However, Longomo scored on a jumper and 6-5 senior center Emillie Nuamamdibu (9 points, 9 rebounds) did the same to give Bethesda a brief 49-48 lead.

Westmont came back with a three-point bucket by Storkson and a jumper by Cora Chan (11 points, 3 rebounds, 5 assists) to reclaim the lead for Westmont (53-49) with seven minutes to play.

Two and one-half minutes later, with the Warriors up by three, Chan drained a three-pointer to give Westmont a 61-55 advantage.

“Cora’s three out of the time out was, in my opinion, the biggest shot of the game,” said Moore.

The rest of the Warriors’ scoring was accomplished by Karr who made six free throws as part of an eight-for-eight performance from the charity stripe.