Westmont, Freed-Hardeman Win in CHM Hotels Invitational

Submitted by: Ron Smith - November 23rd, 2013


Celina Gougis

Celina Gougis

The first day of the CHM Hotels Basketball Invitational at Westmont is in the books with #3 Westmont Women’s Basketball (3-2) posting a 65-44 win over #18 Carroll of Montana (5-1) and #6 Freed-Hardeman of Tennessee (5-1) defeating #10 The Master’s (3-2) by a count of 75-68.

The invitational will continue tomorrow 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.

In today’s first game, Westmont’s Celina Gougis tallied 21 points and Kelsie Sampson poured in 16 in the Warriors’ win. Gougis, who was nine of 15 from the floor, added four assists and pulled down seven rebounds.

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.

The Lions led by as much as 16 points in the first half, but by the intermission the Mustangs had narrowed the margin to nine (40-31). A 9-4 run in the first two and one half minutes of the second half put The Mustangs within four points (44-40) and the battle was on. With 8:13 remaining, The Master’s trailed by just three (59-56). However, the Lions scored 10 of the next 13 points, to go up 69-59 with 5:20 to play.

With 2:15 to play and Freed-Hardeman leading by 12 (75-63), the Mustangs made one more run. A layup by Rivera produced an “and-one” play that dropped the deficit to nine. Two free throws by Whitney Best and a layup by Bianca Cubello made the scoreboard read 75-70 with 30 seconds remaining in regulation.

However, that proved to be the end of The Master’s scoring. Freed-Hardeman added four free throws down the stretch to put the game out of reach.

[Carroll/Westmont box score] [Freed-Hardeman/The Master’s box score] [Carroll/Westmont photos]