Wolves hold off Warriors
December 9, 2003
By Jared Green
Tribune staff writer
ZEPHYR COVE – The Whittell High girls’ basketball team nearly pulled off a fourth-quarter comeback against Coleville High on Tuesday night, missing two potential game-winning shots in the final 10 seconds before losing, 50-49.
The Warriors stole the ball twice in the last 16 seconds, almost making up for the 36 turnovers they committed, but the hosts couldn’t manage to finish off the visiting Wolves.
Elise Thomas scored a game-high 22 points for Whittell, making 10 of her 12 shots from the floor, but was on the bench for the crucial final minutes thanks to picking up her fourth personal foul early in the fourth quarter.
“Unfortunately Elise had too many fouls and I didn’t get a chance to get her back in there,” Whittell head coach Nathan Tolbert said. “It would have been nice to have her presence in there.”
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Thomas’s scoring wasn’t all the Warriors missed in the fourth quarter. She led the team with eight rebounds and with her absent the Wolves were all over the glass. Forward Samantha Gall had four rebounds in the quarter, three on the offensive end and four big points.
The Warriors last lead came early in the first quarter at 5-4, but their defense was as sloppy as their ball-handling early on. Missed assignments led to Coleville (3-1) getting open shots early, especially Tatza Lovett, who scored six points in the first quarter and 12 overall.
Coleville never really pulled away thanks to Thomas, who scored the first eight points for Whittell (2-2) to open the second half to tie the score at 30. She headed to the bench and the Wolves scored eight straight points, then Whittell turned the ball over six times in the first 1:30 of the fourth quarter.
Luckily for the Warriors, Coleville missed seven of its first eight shots of the quarter and Gall hit just two of her six free throws to keep the game close. The visitors led 48-43 with two minutes left and a Katlin Willens layup pulled Whittell to within 50-47 inside of a minute.
Whittell was called for an intentional foul, but Coleville missed both free throws and Tara Scaduto stole the inbounds pass before feeding Anna Kingman for a short jumper for a one-point game with 18 seconds left.
“We stepped up late in the game, but we couldn’t quite finish them off,” Tolbert said. “We killed ourselves with turnovers and put ourselves in a big hole.”
The Whittell girls’ junior varsity team stayed undefeated on the season (3-0) with a 51-23 win to start the night. Ashley Makara scored 18 points for the Warriors, while Jessica Woods had 12.
Coleville 55, Whittell 53
The Warriors’ boys lost a heartbreaker, going 3-for-10 from the free throw line in the final two minutes before Coleville’s Jacob Gakoon hit a 3-pointer with four seconds left in the game for a 55-53 victory.
Whittell’s Danny Shapiro, who scored a game-high 21 points, had a chance at a game-winning trey at the buzzer, but the ball went halfway down before rimming out.
The visiting Wolves hit six 3-pointers in the first half, but Whittell (1-4) switched to a man-to-man defense in the second half and mounted a comeback.
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