Whatever Omaha Westside coach Steve Clark said to his team at halftime Monday night, it worked.
The seventh-ranked Warriors rallied from a nine-point deficit to slip past third-ranked Millard West 46-45. Sophomore guard Quinn Weidemann hit the deciding shot, sinking a go-ahead jumper with 7 seconds left.
"We got a little chewed out in the locker room at halftime,'' Weidemann said. "We knew we could play better than we had been.''
The visiting Wildcats led 16-12 after the first quarter with the help of a 9-0 run. That advantage grew to six late in the second quarter and then reached nine after a three-point play by Courtney Merryweather.
Trailing 27-18 entering the third quarter, the Warriors heeded their coach's advice. They went on a 9-0 run and tied the game on a put back by senior forward Callie Anderson.
Westside outscored Millard West 14-3 in the quarter and held a 32-30 edge entering the final period.
The game was tied on five occasions in the fourth quarter, the final time at 43 with one minute left after Millard West's Jada Moseman sank a 3-pointer. An Anderson free throw with 39 seconds remaining put Westside ahead, but a layup by Jaylin Bosak with 18 seconds left put the Wildcats on top.
That set the stage for Weidemann's late heroics as she buried a jumper just inside the 3-point line.
"Quinn has three options on that play, depending on how they defend us,'' Clark said. "Their defense sagged off of her just enough and she took the shot.''
Millard West had one final chance but a shot in the lane by Lauren Rongisch was partially blocked. Teammate Philomena Lammers grabbed the ball and scored on the put back but that shot came just after the buzzer.
"Quinn did a great job of getting her shot off,'' Millard West coach Marc Kruger said. "We thought Lauren got fouled on her last shot, but it is what it is.''
Kruger said the Warriors' zone defense gave his team problems.
"We got some great looks but we weren't hitting the shots,'' he said. "Give credit to them for fighting back the way they did.''
Weidemann led the way, scoring 11 of her game-high 17 points in the second half.
"We stepped up our rebounding in the third quarter,'' she said. "Millard West is a very good team, so this should really help our confidence.''
Lynsey Curran added nine points for the defending Class A champion Warriors (15-4), while Maya Solarana chipped in eight.
"This was a big win,'' Clark said. "We had a lot of players contributing tonight, and we needed every one of those points.''
It was a tough loss for Millard West, which started the season 11-0 but has gone 5-4 since.
"The game could have gone either way,'' Kruger said. "But in the end, a great player made a great shot to win it for them.''
Merry weather led the 16-4 Wildcats with 12 points while Lammers added 11 and Rongisch 10. Millard West was playing without starting forward Logan Black, who is on a softball recruiting trip to Georgetown.
"She's one of our best players,'' Kruger said. "We could have used her tonight.''
The rare Monday night game was rescheduled from last Tuesday night when schools were closed because of snow.