Brandie Taylor insisted her team had been there before, but really Western never had. The Wildcats, playing in the girls’ basketball region playoffs for just the second time ever, were down at halftime and their hopes of winning a region game for the first time hinged on a comeback in Ives Estates.
In this moment, history didn’t matter. What did were the close wins Western had pulled out this year. Taylor asked her players to think about those comebacks. They leaned on them to make history and rally for a 53-48 win against Dr. Krop in the Region 4-Class 7A quarterfinals Thursday.
Wildcats swingman Jordan Pravato, nicknamed “JP3,” led all scorers with 23 and hit five three-pointers to pace Western in its comeback, outdueling Lightning guard Lindsey Weingard in The Thunderdome.
It was a far fry from Taylor’s first practices as coach in Davie six years ago.
At practices, she’d have to walk out onto the court to explain what the different spots were. This is the short corner. One time, she had to dedicate an entire portion of practice to explaining how to substitute into a game.
Last year, Western got to the region playoffs for the first time brought back three of its starters this year. The result has been already the best season in school history after a second-half comeback at Dr. Michael M. Krop High School.
Western needed a third-quarter eruption to get there. Weingard scored 15 points in the first half and the Lightning (14-9) took a 27-21 lead into halftime. In the third quarter, Western outscored Dr. Krop, 21-6.
Pravato, who hit two corner threes in the first quarter, drained two more in the third.
Western took a 42-33 lead into the fourth quarter and held off a final push from Dr. Krop UFA.