ALBANY -- Sherwood girls basketball coach Rebecca Fyock was pleased with how her team started the game Tuesday against Westwood in the Lady Eagles' home opener.
She just wasn't thrilled with how it ended.
After coming out firing, and behind by just a point after the first period to a scrappy Lady Wildcats team, Fyock watched as her team "decided to just stop playing defense" in the second period as Westwood raced out to a 21-13 halftime lead and never looked back in the 40-31 win.
"The halftime speech was that, 'Hey, look, we're only down eight. Let's come out strong in the second half,' " Fyock recalled. "Instead, we kind of came out flat."
Sherwood was outscored, 13-2, in the third frame as Virginia Vereen (12 points) and Sumner Watson (8 points) seized control of the game for the Lady Wildcats.
However, in the fourth period, the Lady Eagles gave Fyock reason to be optimistic as her girls battled back and cut the lead to as little as seven points before losing by nine.
"I was very proud of the six or seven girls who either came off the bench or really came to play in the fourth quarter," said the coach, whose team fell to 4-2 on the year. "I just wish we would've had that attitude in the beginning."
Leading the way for the Lady Eagles was Emilee Cook and Princess Williams, both of whom scored 7, while Maggie O'Connor added 6 and Katie Foster scored 5.
Fyock, whose team is back in action Friday against Southland, lauded the play of Williams particularly.
"We mix our lineups up, so she didn't start, but I really thought she played well," she said. "We just didn't have enough in the end."
Westwood plays again Friday at SGA.
SHERWOOD BOYS 73, WESTWOOD 43:
Eagles boys coach Matt Ruta called it a win "where we finally played like I think we can."
Westwood coach Al Timmerman, meanwhile, couldn't disagree.
"It's how I expected them to play," he said. "We owned the first half -- and they really owned the second."
The Wildcats led, 29-25, at halftime, but were simply out played in the second half as Sherwood won its home opener by outscoring Westwood by a staggering 48-14 after halftime.
"We've got so many new kids, so many kids who haven't played -- it's just taking awhile for everyone to find what they're good at," said Ruta, whose team improved to 2-2 overall, while handing Westwood (2-1) its first defeat of the season. "Last year, we had a great inside presence, but this year we don't as much. So we're just trying to find our identity. And I think we took a big step (Tuesday night)."
Leading the way in the win was SCA's Brannan Anthony, who was the high man for both teams with 18 points, followed by John Schramm (16) and Gary Holloway (14).
The Wildcats, meanwhile, got a team-high 10 from Jake Edore and 9 from Andrew Adams.
Timmerman said he knew when his team missed a few easy shots after halftime -- and then watched Sherwood quickly go from trailing to leading -- the momentum had officially swung in the Eagles' favor.
"We got behind in a hurry," he said. "And if Sherwood was struggling before (Tuesday night), they sure didn't look it the way they played in the second half."