Rogers senior Jessi Westering took over the head of the Westering household.
Her Rams got the best of Sumner, coached by her older sister Jordan Moog, for a 62-44 victory on Friday night in 4A SPSL action on Friday night in a sentimental game for both siblings.
It was the first time they have gone against each other, as Westering finished with 15 points and nine rebounds.
"It was fun. She’s a great player – Jessi is," Moog said. "We (pressured) her the whole game, trying to not let her score. But she’s strong and she was able to get hers."
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This game between Rogers (8-3, 6-1) and Sumner (3-7, 2-6) was turned into a family affair when Sumner moved up a classification and switched from the 3A SPSL to the 4A SPSL just before the start of the new school year.
For Moog, it allowed her to come full circle after playing for Rogers (2005-2007) in high school before moving onto Pacific Lutheran University – where her grandfather, the late Frosty Westering, and father, Scott Westering have coached football at – and then as the coach at Sumner.
Fast forward nine years, another Westering has taken center stage for the Rams as Moog’s younger sister has become one of the top talents in league.
"It brings out a little more competiveness, I think. A little bit different side," Jessi Westering said.
For months, this meeting between Sumner and Rogers was circled, crossed and highlighted on the calendar by both sisters, as it meant earning bragging rights at the Westering family outings.
"Well it’s awesome watching them because family is everything," said their mother, Susan Westering, who has watched both her daughters – as well as son Kellen – walk through Rogers High’s halls. She and Scott Westering were both in attendance on Friday.
"At the end of the day, it’s a game and family is forever. …their grandfather Frosty would have been proud with the way they played and competed here tonight.
"How many families get to see their kids either play together or against each other? We’re very proud."
Not many, and even fewer still when both their children accomplish the feat after being nearly a decade a part in age.
Right from the start Jessi came to take the first round of the sibling rivalry, as she fought through Sumner’s double-team of Kaitlyn Clark and Anna Smith to score seven points while helping Rogers jump out to a 18-12 lead.
Then the mind games from big sister came into play as Moog pushed for her Spartan players to put a little more muscle into guarding Jessi.
The added pressure forced extra aggression from the Pepperdine commit as Jessi Westering fought back which put her into foul trouble and out of the game early in the second.
"She knows exactly the right buttons to press. Exactly the right buttons," said Jessi Westering. "She knows I have a short temper and sometimes that gets the better of me."
With Jessi Westering sitting on the bench, Sumner used a 10-5 run in the second quarter to pull within a single point, 23-22, at the break.
"We have a very, very completive league, and with the new (WIAA) rating system, you have to have your A-game every night," Rogers coach Amy Looker said.
Every time Rogers pulled away in the third, Sumner guards Kennedy Cutter (14 points) and Joy Mahnken (11) used the 3-point shot to keep the Spartans within a point, 33-32, with two minutes, six seconds left in the third.
With Sumner’s focus on Jessi Westering, both Rams guards Raigan Barrett (game-high 23 points) and Tristan Coltom (12 points) started to help Rogers put the Rams up at the end of the third, 42-33.
Rogers used free-throws in the fourth to put the game away as they shot 14 for 16 in the game’s final quarter alone, finishing off the win by a 62-44 final.
"That score does not indicate what the game was like," Moog said. "We started to foul at the 10-minute mark, and we were within 10 (points) and I thought that if we could get them on the free-throw line, that would be our best option."
And at least for one night, the first round and bragging rights go to baby sister.
"I think I earned that right with the win. Plus, she’s a Moog now, so I guess this makes me the head of the household," Jessi joked after the game.
"I’m ready for round two, and I know she is too."