Lady Wildcats slay Diman 58-47, move on to semis

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Lady Wildcats 8th grade guard Laura Mendell scored a team-high 23 points in leading Westport over Diman 58-47 in a Division 4 South playoff game on Friday night. Mendell who had only 2 points in the first half, came up huge and scored 21 points in the second half. Laila Silver scored 14, Kara Figueredo scored 10, Hailey Charest scored 6 and Madison Martins netted 2.

The bigger and stronger Diman gave the Wildcats a tough time in the paint. Westport led by just ten, 22-12 at halftime.

Diman cut the deficit to 26-20 in the third period on a putback by Center Makenzie Teixeira. Then Kara Figueiredo sparked a 7-0 Wildcat run with a 3-pointer giving Westport a 39-25 lead after three quarters.

Westport used their half court pressure trap defense to perfection in the fourth quarter. Mendell and Silver attacked the Diman guards and went on a scoring tear as the Cats led by as much as 18 points. The duo combined for 15 points in the fourth.

Notes: Coach Michael Ponte played the same five all game. The Cats forced 23 turnovers in the first half. Mendell went 8 of 11 from the foul line.

Next up:

The second-seeded Wildcats will face No. 6 Cohasset in the South semifinals Monday at Taunton High School at 7:15 p.m.

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A lifelong Portsmouth resident, Jim graduated from Portsmouth High School in 1982 and earned a journalism degree from the University of Rhode Island in 1986. He's worked two different stints at East Bay Newspapers, for a total of 18 years with the company so far. When not running all over town bringing you the news from Portsmouth, Jim listens to lots and lots and lots of music, watches obscure silent films from the '20s and usually has three books going at once. He also loves to cook crazy New Orleans dishes for his wife of 25 years, Michelle, and their two sons, Jake and Max.