Warriors leave OT defeat on the floor
For a team that is enjoying their first week of winter break, the Whittell High girls basketball squad didn’t show any signs of sluggishness Thursday in a 43-34 overtime loss to the Douglas JV squad in Zephyr Cove.
“I have 10 girls on my team and all 10 of them played hard today,” Warrior coach Lindsay Wines said. “Everyone of these girls, when they stepped on the floor today were busting their butt.”
The Warriors aggressiveness allowed them to control the tempo the entire game, but with 1 minute and 30 seconds left in regulation and facing a four-point deficit, their effort reached its climax.
After junior Jackie Laurian hit the back end of a one-and-one free throw chance to make the score 28-24, the Warriors quickly went to a full-court press, causing two quick turnovers.
Point guard Ashley Wines converted both steals into four points, deadlocking the game 28-28 with under a minute to play.
“We were all really excited,” Warrior center Elise Thomas said. “Coach told us to get pumped up, and we got it going.”
After forcing a third turnover, Laurian was fouled going to the hole, setting up two free throws and a chance for the lead. Laurian sank them both and the Warriors were up 30-28.
On the ensuing inbound pass, Douglas lost the ball off Jamie Aikenhead’s foot for their fourth consecutive turnover, and the Warriors found themselves with possession and 37 seconds to kill.
With time running down to 15 seconds, Laurian was fouled.
Going to the charity stripe for the third time in the final frame, Laurian missed the front end of the one-and-one and Douglas was able to control the ball.
While the Warriors pressed the ball handler, Tiger guard Ashley Hartley slipped down court, hauled in a baseball pass and laid in the game-tying shot as regulation time expired.
“The girls did a good job there at the end,” Tiger coach Werner Christen said. “We were fortunate to find Ashley down the court. It was a real exciting finish.”
Overtime wasn’t kind to the Warriors as they were outscored 13-4, but it was their effort in regulation that impressed coach Wines.
“Douglas left today knowing they had to play their butt off to win this game,” she said. “And that’s what we want. Every team that plays us we want them to think when they leave, ‘That was a tough game.’ “
Ashley Wines led the Warriors with nine points, while Thomas chipped in with eight. Kelly Flanigan and Laurian each scored five.
Thomas, along with teammates Jenna Hayes and Marie Peterson, also contributed heavily on the glass, outrebounding the Tigers 35-18.
“One of the things we talked about before the game was blocking out on the boards and I think they did a great job at that,” coach Wines said. “Thirty-five rebounds, for us that’s huge.”
Tiger Melissa Gadsby scored 10 of her game high 12 points in the second half as the Douglas JVs (1-5) won their first game of the season.
Up next for the Warriors is Friday’s home contest against Manogue in Zephyr Cove.
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