Though known more for her 3-point shooting, it was Chaise Pfanstiel’s layup that led to Millard West’s victory Friday night against Omaha Westside.
The senior guard sank the go-ahead basket with one second left to boost the Wildcats to a 47-46 victory. It was the second loss in the past three games for the defending Class A champion.
Pfanstiel, who led the team in 3-pointers last season with 33, had three in the second half as the Wildcats erased an 11-point deficit. They got it tied in the fourth quarter but the Warriors led 46-43 in the final minute.
A Pfanstiel layup with 16 seconds left drew Millard West within a point, and Westside’s Abby Hellman then missed the front end of a 1-and-1. Jenna Bohaty grabbed the rebound for the Wildcats and coach Marc Kruger called a timeout with six seconds on the clock.
Pfanstiel inbounded the ball to Bohaty, who gave it back to Pfanstiel. The guard zipped past a defender and found a clear path to the basket as she laid it in.
“I was very surprised,” she said. “I looked up and there was nobody there.”
The Warriors called a timeout with eight-tenths of a second left but a desperation heave from half court missed the target.
“We ran the play we wanted to run,” Kruger said. “Chaise got the ball, turned the corner and it was wide open.”
Sixth-ranked Millard West was playing catch-up most of the night against fifth-ranked Westside. The Warriors led by five after the first quarter and by nine at halftime.
Hellman was 4 of 4 from 3-point range in that first half as Westside sank seven shots from behind the arc.
“We didn’t play well early,” Kruger said. “But we cut it to six by the end of the third quarter and I think that helped relax us.”
The Wildcats continued to trim that deficit, closing within three on a Taylor Farrell putback. Pfanstiel then swished a 3-pointer to tie the game with five minutes left, the first time Westside hadn’t led since the opening minute.
The Warriors got a basket and two late free throws from Ella Wedergren but it wasn’t enough. Pfanstiel’s two layups, including the game winner just before the final buzzer, proved to be the difference.
“It was a rush to hit that last one,” she said. “I was so happy to see it go through the net.”
Pfanstiel finished with a game-high 17, with 15 coming in the second half. Katelyn Osborne had 11 points and Honnah Leo chipped in 10.
“I told the girls they showed a lot of heart and fight tonight,” Kruger said. “They refused to lose.”
Wedergren led Westside with 14 points and Hellman had 12.
Both teams return to action Saturday. Millard West plays ninth-ranked Papillion-La Vista while the Warriors host Lincoln East.
Omaha Westside (3-2)...................18 12 7 9—46
At Millard West (3-2)................ 13 8 10 16—47
OW: Ryley Nolin 8, Ella Wedergren 14, Kaitlyn Hanna 3, Jasmine McGinnis-Taylor 7, Abby Hellman 12, Elizabeth Robinson 2.
MW: Chaise Pfanstiel 17, Taylor Farrell 5, Katelyn Osborne 11, Laney Schipper 2, Honnah Leo 10, Jenna Bohaty 2.
2018 NebHSRecruiting Top 50 Basketball Showcase testing results
The state's best boys basketball players came together for the NebHSRecruiting Top 50 showcase on Aug. 1. Here are the results from the testing portion of the camp, including height/weight, wingspan, standing reach, no-step vertical jump and handsize. All players are listed alphabetically by last name.