The boys and girls basketball teams participated in the Len Sepanak Memorial Tournament on Dec. 27–30. The boys took second place and the girls took fifth place.
The Westfield boys defeated Watchung Hills 72–46 in Basking Ridge on Dec. 29. Junior Nick Mele was the leading scorer for Westfield with a total of 15 points.
Said Head Coach Mr. Daryl Palmieri, “We created the tempo we wanted to create early and never really looked back. Also, defensively we executed well in the first half and were able to turn them over, resulting in some easy baskets for us.”
Juniors Parker Hess and Jelani Pierre contributed 12 points each. Westfield led 42–16 at halftime, according to nj.com.
The boys advanced to the championship game, losing to Ridge 44–39 on Dec. 30 despite being up by 10 points at the half. But with several missed opportunities in the third quarter, and with few shots that fell in the fourth quarter, the team was unable to maintain its lead.
According to Senior Co-Captain Danny Mitchell, Owen Murray was a key player in this game, and the the defense in both games was very strong.
Said Mitchell: “I think our team overall played pretty well, although we didn’t come out being the tournament champions. As team captain and senior point guard, I feel as if our team hasn’t even scratched the surface of our potential. Once we start playing together better and get on a roll as a team, we’re going to be really hard to beat.”
The girls lost to Mendham 49–38 in their first game of the tournament on Dec. 27. The game started off slowly and Westfield didn’t close the gap in the second half, according to nj.com.
The Blue Devil girls won 56–39 against Pingry on Dec. 30, dominating from the start. The team executed aggressive defense, giving the girls many fast break opportunities. Senior Tri-Captains Jacqueline Knapp and Lillian Scott were the main contributors for Westfield, scoring 19 and 16 points, respectively. Junior Abby Demers and sophomore Shannon Devitt each scored 6 points. The team took fifth place in the tournament.
Said Scott, “Though we weren’t satisfied with our overall performance in the tournament, there are a lot of learning opportunities from both games that we will use to improve throughout the season.”