PREP BASKETBALL

Split decision for Wilson Hall, Laurence Manning

BY TREVOR BAUKNIGHT
trevor@theitem.com
Posted 1/20/18

The Wilson Hall varsity girls basketball team kept rolling on Friday, improving its record to 12-5 on the season and 2-1 in SCISA 3A conference play with a 71-42 dismantling of Laurence Manning at …

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PREP BASKETBALL

Split decision for Wilson Hall, Laurence Manning

Posted

The Wilson Hall varsity girls basketball team improved its record to 12-5 on the season and 2-1 in SCISA Region II-3A with a 71-42 dismantling of Laurence Manning Academy at Nash Student Center on Friday.

The Lady Swampcats fell to 6-8 overall and 0-3 in conference play.

Wilson Hall's starting five made quick work of establishing an insurmountable lead, scoring the first 19 points of the game and dashing out to a 26-3 lead before taking a breather in the second quarter and keeping LMA at arm's length in the second half.

The rest of the game was relatively competitive, with Wilson Hall outscoring LMA 45-39 over the final three stanzas; but the damage was already done.

"Our goal is intensity from the very beginning and being consistent throughout with intensity, and I feel like we did that in the first half," said Wilson Hall head coach Glen Rector. "So the intensity was good, and I was really pleased with the effort of the young ladies tonight."

Four Lady Barons contributed double-digit scoring, led by transfer Natalie Jackson with 15. Liza Segars and Susanna Hutson added 14 points apiece and Courtney Clark added 13.

Laurence Manning's Lexi Bennett led all scorers, pouring in 18 points.

Laurence Manning first-year head coach Gary Bennett said he was pleased with his team's persistence despite the early hole in which it found itself.

"Take away the first four or five minutes and it was a darn good ball game," Coach Bennett said. "Wilson Hall played a great game. I was proud of the girls that fought the whole time and never gave up.

"We're putting it together, working hard and that's all I can ask for."

Rector said he was happy to have a chance to get some quality playing time for the girls on his bench.

"We've got a very busy week next week with three tough games," said Rector, whose team will play two non-conference games early in the week against Northwood and Thomas Sumter Academy before resuming conference play on the road at Florence Christian School. "It was a good opportunity to get everybody some playing time because we're going to need them down the stretch."

In the boy's game, Laurence Manning muscled past the Barons to post a 54-40 victory and improve to 9-5 ovrall and 3-0 in region play.

Wilson Hall fell to 7-7 and 2-1.

"We did exactly what we needed to do tonight, and came in and won," said an unimpressed LMA head coach Will Epps. "At times we played really well, and at times we didn't play well.

"We're looking to get more consistent with our execution," Epps said. "Our effort was really good, obviously, but we've just got to work and get better every day at what we try to do."

Epps said he was glad to see Chase Lee score 12 points for the Swampcats.

"Chase Lee had one of his better games in quite awhile," Epps said. "He was aggressive and made some shots and played really well for us and we were glad to see it.

"The last couple games, he hasn't shot the ball a lot. He's a scorer and we need him to look to score, and he did that tonight. I was very proud of him."

Senior Jerrel Kelly led all scorers in Friday's contest with 18, and Taylor Lee added 10.

"Jerrel Kelly - we don't do anything without him," Epps said. "He's our guy. He's not aggressive offensively, but he's averaging 15 points a game for us this year and that's what we need. He's a great passer, facilitator and obviously a rebounder. Defensively, we're very glad to have him."

LMA established an early lead, finding easy baskets while the Barons rushed things and try to keep up.

"The first half, I really didn't think we played with a lot of patience offensively," said Barons head coach Eddie Talley. "We didn't make many shots and took some quick shots.

Chandler Scott led Wilson Hall with 13 points, the only Baron in double figures.

"In the second half, they just killed us on the boards, and we're a little disappointed in that," Talley said. "They've got a good team, but I think we've got a better team than we showed tonight."