Hammerle pushes Westfield to win

jheeter@macon.comFebruary 26, 2014 

GISATourney

Westfield’s Callie Hammerle (11) and the Hornets face Bulloch on Friday night in the GISA Class AAA semifinals.

JASON VORHEES — jvorhees@macon.com Buy Photo

Callie Hammerle tries to play aggressively every game.

The Westfield senior certainly filled that role Wednesday against Holy Spirit Prep in the opening round of the GISA Class AAA tournament at Stratford.

Hammerle scored 31 points to lead the Hornets to a 54-41 win. The Hornets will play Deerfield-Windsor on Friday in the quarterfinals.

“I’m usually pretty aggressive,” Hammerle said, “I just usually don’t make as many shots, so that was exciting.”

The Hornets (16-8) overcame a sluggish start and a dry spell in the fourth quarter to roll past Holy Spirit.

Westfield outscored Holy Spirit (16-8) 25-9 in the middle two quarters after the Cougars led for most of the opening quarter.

The dominance in the middle two quarters helped overcame a rough patch that stuck with the Hornets at the start of the game and in the fourth quarter.

“We didn’t show up from the first quarter to the fourth quarter like how we can play,” Westfield head coach Brittany Conley said. “We just really didn’t play any defense at all. We had moments of good offense but didn’t really do a whole lot.”

The Cougars made three 3-pointers in the first five minutes to lead by as many as six points in the opening quarter. But the Hornets took firm control in the second quarter with Hammerle continuing to be assertive. She scored 18 of Westfield’s 31 first-half points as the Hornets built a 12-point halftime lead.

Westfield continued to roll in the third quarter, holding Holy Spirit to just one field goal on the way to outscoring the Cougars 11-3 in the quarter. The Hornets led by 20 after three quarters.

The Cougars opened the fourth quarter with a 16-4 run and pulled to within nine points with 3:06 to play in the game, but Katlyn Moseley and Hammerle stopped the run with a pair of baskets with less than two minutes to play. The Cougars managed just four points the rest of the way.

One year removed from a trip to the Final Four, Westfield can now turn its attention to getting back to Mercer. The Hornets lost to Tattnall Square in the Region 2-AAA tournament, pushing themselves into arguably the hardest quadrant of the bracket along with Bulloch Academy, Deerfield and Tattnall.

“It was disappointing, but there’s nothing we can do about it now,” Hammerle said of the region tournament result. “We’ll take what we can get and push through our bracket and try to make it to the championship.”

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