Points were in short supply in the varsity girls basketball game between Wilson Hall and Florence Christian School on Tuesday at Nash Student Center. And Lady Barons head coach Glen Rector knew the reason why.
"Both teams played tremendous …
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"Both teams played tremendous defense throughout the game tonight," said Rector, whose team lost to the Lady Eagles 35-28. "It was just great defense by both teams."
In the boys game, Wilson Hall won 52-31.
It was the first meeting of the season between the teams that shared the SCISA Region II-3A girls regular-season title last season. FCS won the region tournament title.
WH fell to 11-5 on the season and 1-1 in region play. Florence Christian remained undefeated at 10-0 overall and 2-0 in region play.
Wilson Hall pulled out a new offense on Tuesday, one where it spread the floor to try and take advantage to its size advantage with one-on-one matchups inside.
"With the exception of (Lady Eagles center) Zoe (Cauthen), we felt like we had the size advantage at every position," Rector said. "It didn't really work that well for us though. We were trying to spread the floor out, but they did a real good job defensively with their man-to-man defense."
The Lady Barons led 8-7 after one quarter with six of them coming from Natalie Jackson. However, they managed only two in the second quarter and trailed 17-10 at halftime.
The offensive struggles continued for both teams in the third quarter. WH finally scored at the 3:41 mark on a steal and layup to make it 18-12. FCS pushed the lead to 10, 22-12, before Wilson Hall scored the final three of the final four points of the quarter to make it 23-15.
The Lady Barons scored the first six points of the fourth quarter. Jackson had a steal and a layup, had an assist on a Cameron Duffy basket and came up with a steal and an assist to Clark to make it 23-21 with 4:54 remaining in the game.
Clark was fouled on the bucket as well. She missed the free throw and there was a scramble for the ball where it appeared a Wilson Hall player was fouled. However, the ball was ruled out of bounds on the Lady Barons, causing one of the assistants to come out of his seat and he was whistled for a technical foul.
FCS' Corley Keefe hit just one of the free throws and the Lady Eagles didn't score on the ensuing possession, but it seemed to swing the momentum. A 3-point play by Kylie Stewart with 4:03 left made it 27-21.
"The rule is if an assistant coach stands up it is a technical," Rector said. "They only hit one of the free throws, but it did take a little of the momentum from us."
Florence Christian had a big advantage at the free throw line as well. The Lady Eagles shot 33 free throws, hitting 17 of them. WH was 5 for 10.
"Both teams were playing very aggressive defense," Rector said.
Jackson led Wilson Hall with eight points, while Clark finished with six.
Cauthen led FCS with 10. Keefe, Kylie Stewart and Madison Stewart each had seven.
In the boys contest, Wilson Hall trailed 13-10 after one quarter. The Barons limited FCS to just 18 points the remainder of the game, going on to the 21-point victory. They improved to 7-6 overall and 2-0 in region play.
The Eagles' E.J. Porter hit three 3-point baskets in the first quarter and one in the second, but that was it for him and pretty much for Florence Christian.
Walker Jones drained a couple of treys for WH in the second quarter as they took a 23-18 lead at halftime. The Barons scored the first 16 points of the second half to go up 39-18. They used a half-court trap to force many turnovers that led to easy baskets.
"Our effort tonight was really good from start to finish," said Wilson Hall head coach Eddie Talley. "This was one of our better games. We got into some foul trouble, but we had some guys come off the bench and do a good job.
"If we get that kind of effort every game we're going to give ourselves a chance. Our guys are starting to play with a little bit of confidence."
Daulton Dabbs and Landon VanPattern led the Barons with nine points apiece. Jones finished with eight and Grey Holler had six.
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