Roane County’s Lucille Westfall is hidden gemstone
For the love of the game.
Not many people know this, but the great Michael Jordan loved the game of basketball so much he had a clause put into his contract stating he could play basketball whenever he wanted. Outside of the season, pick-up games over the summer, special celebrity contests …. It didn’t matter. He wanted to play whenever he could.
Roane County’s Lucille Westfall sounds a lot like Mike.
Game or not you could find her in the gym with her father John any time of the year working hard. “He also is at every game telling me what I need to fix. Then, we would go in and shoot on the weekends and during snow days. Even when I didn’t want to we would be going.”
One of the hidden gems of West Virginia high school girls basketball, the Raider lights up discussing and playing basketball no matter where or when.
A smile brightens her face and her iris’ grow wide even during the briefest conversation about the hardwood sport.
Her passion brings a grin to my face as I have watched her compete whenever I can, which hasn’t been nearly enough during her four years in Spencer.
The Raider senior plays the game the right way and does whatever her team needs her to do.
One night it may be going out and scoring 30 points to help Roane win, the next night it could be grabbing 20 boards, or Roane County head coach Frank Farrar may need her to do both and she does what is asked with no complaints.
“She is the most selfless player I have coached and will do anything,” said Farrar. “She is so team-oriented and such a hard worker, unbelivably consistent from one game to the next.”
In fact, Westfall is averaging a double-double of 23.1 points per game and 14.6 rebounds through 16 games this season.
She had been held below 10 points just once and 10 rebounds twice.
Teams regularly build gameplans around shutting her down.
It hasn’t worked out more times than not.
Her game is so multi-faceted from a position standpoint. She can do everything from going in the post and working out to the 3-point line, to driving the lane, or posting up down low and working around the cylinder.
This versatility helped her pass James Carpenter as the all-time scoring leader at the high school earlier this season. She also became the first Raider to pull down 1,000 boards with 1,000 markers in her career, and is currently closing in on 1,500 career points.
Westfall easily stands as the best player to play at Roane County High School.
A fact she only dreamed about when in first grade playing in a small-fry league.
“No,” she said immediately when asked if she ever envisioned having the success she did when she scored her first two varsity points against Wirt County four years ago.
“It was my goal for my entire high school career (scoring 1,000 points) and I hit it last year and didn’t think it would ever get any better than that.”
When she finally passed Carpenter’s mark, she was a little thunderstuck. “It was a dream that I never thought could come true,” added Westfall. “Carpenter was a heck of a player and he had the record since he left and I never thought it would happen.”
Westfall admits she was worried about how the team was going to get her the ball heading into her junior year. Her sister, Mary Kate, who set the season assist record her senior year had just graduated. However, her teammates worked hard to get her the ball and things turned out well …. pretty nicely.
However, she would trade all her points and rebounds for a chance to go to Charleston to get a shot at the state championship. “Even if I didn’t score a point and we just went to play in that type of environment for a title would be amazing,” she added.
The Raiders were one half away from making the trek her freshman year. Roane gave Fairmont Senior all the Polar Bears could handle in the first half, battling to a 31-31 tie, but couldn’t keep it going in the second half.
She wasn’t about to transfer schools to make a trip to the Civic Center a reality, though her talent was in high demand. “I played with a lot of Sissonville girls and Ripley girls in AAU and they have tried to get me to join the team,” she said. “But coach Farrar and Marie Hedges have done more for me than I could ever imagine possible. They are my coaches and this is my hometown and I didn’t want to be anywhere else.”
Sounds like another definiton of a team player and rare breed to me.
Contact Joe Albright at firstname.lastname@example.org