Warriors battle back
With senior Ashley Wines’ six 3-pointers in the first half, the Whittell Warriors were poised to to put the lid on a stunned Battle Mountain team. But even the 18-point halftime lead wasn’t enough to stop the Longhorns’ version of “the drive” in a gut-wrenching 45-44 last-minute Longhorn victory Friday in Whittell’s league home opener.
The Warriors recovered and returned to pummel an unknowing Silver Stage 59-16 on Saturday in a rejuvenating victory that puts them in a two-way tie for third in the Northern 2A League with league rival Battle Mountain.
Although Friday’s loss was disappointing, it stands as a major improvement from a 2-11 preseason that included few spreads by small margins.
“In two nights we scored over 100 points. Against Incline we only scored 14, so the offense is starting to come around a little bit,” said Whittell head coach Lindsay Wines.
Senior Ashley Wines led the Warriors with 24 points, followed by sophomores Whitney Gielow with eight and Katie Green with six.
Jenna Hayes is sidelined with an elbow injury and did not play in either game.
Coach Wines opted to start four sophomores to mix up team dynamics.
“It worked out well because we had a lot of intensity … They were really fired up,” she said.
But in the third period, the Warriors lost momentum on defense and on the boards. They made 16 turnovers in the second half.
“The girls just kind of panicked I think, and let them back in,” coach Wines said.
The Warriors scored12 points in the second half.
The Longhorns took the lead with seconds remaining. Wines tried to call a time-out, but wasn’t able to contact the officials before time expired.
The Warriors returned with spitfire and malice on Saturday to rout Silver Stage.
Wines, Green and Marie Peterson each scored in the double-digits. Sophomore Anna Kingman also had a noteworthy game with 12 rebounds, five assists and four steals.
The Warriors made a season-low 12 turnovers and made twice as many assists.
Every player on the bench scored at least four points, and the Warriors managed to come on strong in the third period to maintain the tone.
“We tend to struggle in the third quarter coming out strong,” Wines said. Against Silver Stage, however, the Warriors prevailed in the third, 21-0.
The junior varsity team won both its games, defeating Battle Mountain on Friday 48-27 and Silver Stage on Saturday 43-21. They remain undefeated in league at 3-0.
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