Claire Speweik remembers the feeling after last season's sectional title game.
The Westminster Christian junior didn't want that same feeling Thursday night. So Speweik and her teammates erased all doubts quickly.
Westminster forced Morgan Park Academy into 12 first-quarter turnovers and led by double figures after 8 minutes. The Warriors then cruised to a 45-28 victory to claim their first sectional championship at their own Class 1A sectional.
"I think the feeling last year we felt wasn't so great, it was such an awful feeling," said Speweik, who had 5 points, 4 rebounds and 3 steals.
"Tonight's just the opposite. I'm feeling great."
Westminster (26-4) will play Freeport Aquin at 7:30 p.m. Monday in the DeKalb supersectional with a trip to the state semifinals on the line. Aquin (29-3) is the defending state champion and the top-ranked Class 1A team in the state.
Last season, Westminster lost in the sectional title game on a last-second 30-footer to Seton Academy.
On Thursday night, Westminster led the entire game. Maddie Versulys scored 8 points in the opening quarter to help Westminster to a 17-6 lead. Westminster scored 11 points off 12 Morgan Park Academy turnovers.
"Our goal is always to be aggressive, come out strong in our press and get steals right off the bat," Westminster junior McKalia Hays said.
Westminster, which has won 17 straight, had 11 steals in the first half and scored 18 points off Morgan Park Academy's 21 turnovers. Westminster led 30-12 at halftime.
"We came out strong. That's what we wanted," Westminster coach Ken Flickinger said. "We didn't finish particularly great, but we got the job done."
Westminster turned the ball over 29 times, 11 coming in the fourth quarter when the game was already decided.
Versulys led all scorers with 17 points. The freshman added 4 rebounds and 4 steals. Hays finished with 6 points. Courtney Gnan and Liz Meschewski each had 3 steals.
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