WYDaily.com is your source for free news and information in Williamsburg, James City & York Counties.
Bruton Girls Basketball Coach Terrence Green stresses the importance of free throw shooting to his team during practice.
On Saturday, Bruton's work from the free throw line came in handy as the Panthers connected on 20 of 31 free throws during a 47-39 win against Poquoson at home.
Nineteen of Bruton's 31 free throws were taken by senior Kelsey Sluss, who drained 13 en route to a team-high 20-point performance.
After what Green called a "timid" first half by Bruton, the Panthers came on aggressive in the second half and forced two Poquoson starters to foul out of the game.
"That's what you've got to expect out of Bruton High School. That's Bruton basketball," he said.
The first half was a forgettable one for both teams, as points were few and far between for the Panthers and Islanders.
After scoring nine points in the first quarter, Bruton found itself with one point scored in the second quarter with roughly 30 seconds left before halftime.
Back-to-back layups by Mychaela Lucas within the last 30 seconds helped give Bruton some momentum heading into halftime as the Panthers trailed Poquoson 14-12.
The third quarter was an explosive one for both teams, but specifically for Sluss and Poquoson's Sandra Fan.
During the third quarter, Sluss went to the free throw line eight times while helping get Poquoson players into foul trouble. On the other end of the court, Fan caught fire offensively and scored nine of her game-high 24 points in the third quarter.
Bruton was starting to pull away from Poquoson in the third quarter until Poquoson's Rachael Erb banked in a 3-pointer to beat the buzzer. Heading into the fourth quarter, Bruton held a slight 29-28 lead over Poquoson.
The pace of play slowed to a crawl in the fourth quarter as both teams racked up fouls. Combined, Poquoson and Bruton attempted 27 free throws in the fourth quarter.
Sluss scored eight of her 10 fourth quarter points from free throws, while Fan netted eight points for the Islanders in the final stanza.
Bruton was able to handle the free throw shooting contest better than Poquoson, sinking 12 of 13 attempts in the fourth quarter compared to Poquoson's 9-of-14 shooting from the charity stripe.
While not necessarily a pretty game for spectators, Bruton (3-0) did enough to come away with the victory and remain undefeated on the season.
The Panthers will hit the road Tuesday for a road game against New Kent.
Poquoson: 7 5 16 11 — 39
Bruton: 9 5 15 18 — 47
Poquoson: Fan 24, A. Forrest 1, Moore 5, Jennings 4, K. Forrest 2, Erb 3
Bruton: Sluss 20, Harrod 2, Samuel 6, Ma. Johnson 4, Lucas 6, Wynne 1, My. Johnson 4, Calloway 4
3-point goals: Poquoson 4 (Fan 2, Moore, Erb), Bruton 1 (Sluss)
Walsingham Defeats HRA in Dale Travis Invitational
Emily Mauk scored a game-high 18 points to lead Walsingham Academy to a 33-24 win over Hampton Roads Academy in the consolation game of the Dale Travis Invitational at Trinity Episcopal on Saturday.
Mauk carried Walsingham in the first quarter, scoring seven of the Trojans' eight points. A well-balanced scoring effort from Walsingham in the second quarter helped give the Trojans a 19-7 lead over HRA at the half.
An evenly played third quarter gave way to a fourth quarter that favored the Navigators. Sophia Kingsbury scored six of her seven points in the final quarter, but HRA was unable to overcome the deficit.
Walsingham (1-2) will now have a long layoff before the Trojans resume their season at home against Atlantic Shores on Dec. 14. HRA (0-2) will look to rebound Jan. 5 against Steward School.
HRA: 2 5 5 12 — 24
Walsingham: 8 11 5 9 — 33
HRA: Davis 4, Kingsbury 7, Arcand 9, Bresee 3, Payne 1
Walsingham: Mauk 16, McBeath 8, Williams 5, Julien 2, Marcombe 2
3-point goals: HRA 1 (Bresee), Walsingham 2 (Mauk)