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On a night in which Warhill's girls basketball team seemed poised to spring a big upset on the road against Bruton, things unraveled in the second half for the Lions, as the Panthers hung on for a narrow 39-35 win Thursday evening.
Bruton, a team that likes to press the ball handlers before the half court line, struggled to slow down Warhill in the first half. As a result, the Lions were able to get into their offensive sets quickly and find open looks in the middle.
The largest benefactor was Warhill's Olivia Schulz, who scored 13 of her team-high 15 points in the first half. Led by Schulz, Warhill built as much as a 13-point lead in the second quarter.
On the other end of the court, Warhill's 1-3-1 zone defense was giving Bruton fits. The 1-3-1 defense is meant to limit wing players from getting open looks from the corners, which Bruton likes to find on offense.
"We clogged things up in the first half by having someone in the middle," Bruton Coach Terrence Green said. "So we went five out and moved the ball a little bit quicker and looked to attack more."
With Warhill's offense clicking and Bruton's offense struggling, the Lions held a commanding 24-13 halftime lead.
The second half was a completely different story, however.
What was once a Warhill offense clicking on all cylinders slowed to a near halt in the third quarter. Bruton's defense found new life in the second half and began successfully executing its full-court press.
With the press leading to turnovers, Warhill was unable to get into its offensive rhythm and repeatedly committed turnovers while trying to push the ball up the court.
The turnovers led to transition points for Bruton, which opened the third quarter on a 6-0 run to put Warhill's lead to five points.
A 3-pointer by Warhill's Kieran McClure with 1:50 left in the third quarter proved Warhill's only points in the quarter as the Lions saw their lead dwindle to just three points by the end of the quarter.
After a slow start to the fourth quarter, back-to-back layups by Bruton's Mychaela Lucas tied the game at 31 apiece with 4:34 left to play. Minutes later, a clutch 3-pointer by Mykael Johnson gave Bruton its first lead of the game with just over two minutes to play.
Warhill used a pair of free throws by McClure to pull within one point of Bruton with 9.9 seconds left. The Lions sent Johnson to the free throw line on Bruton's next possession, but her first free throw clanked off the back iron.
Bruton and Warhill battled for the ball, but a jump ball was called by the official and the Panthers retained possession. Another foul by Warhill put Makayla Johnson on the line shooting a pair of free throws, of which she made one.
The second free throw rimmed out, but was rebounded by Lucas. For good measure, Lucas banked the ball off the backboard for the final score of the game and completing Bruton's furious rally.
"It shows we've got leadership now," Green said when asked what the comeback means for his team. "My experienced varsity girls picked it up, talking more on the bench and on the floor. It showed tonight."
Bruton (7-2) will host Washington & Lee on Monday, while Warhill (4-5) will visit Lafayette on Tuesday.
Warhill: 14 10 3 8 — 35
Bruton: 7 6 11 15 — 39
Warhill: Walters 2, Schulz 15, McClure 14, Rochard 4
Bruton: Ma. Johnson 1, Harrod 6, Calloway 6, Sluss 4, Lucas 8, My. Johnson 5, Samuel 9
3-point goals: Warhill 2 (McClure 2), Bruton 3 (Harrod 2, My. Johnson)
Jamestown Dominates York
Jamestown got another big performance from Jamiyah Johnson with 18 points and 13 rebounds during Thursday's 44-30 home win against York.
After a tough first quarter against the Falcons, Jamestown's defense ramped up through the final three quarters as York struggled to find clean looks from the field.
Meanwhile, Johnson dominated the paint for Jamestown and turned offensive rebounds into points. With Johnson's help, Jamestown held a 29-17 lead over York.
A strong third quarter by Jamestown extended the Eagles' lead to 20 points and allowed Jamestown to cruise through the fourth quarter for the victory.
Jamestown (8-3) will continue its season on the road against Tabb on Tuesday, while York (1-8) will visit New Kent that same day.
York: 14 3 4 9 — 30
Jamestown: 17 12 12 3 — 44
York: Van Dyke 9, Shoats 7, Horner 6, McKay-Olivis 2, North 2, Fowler 2
Jamestown: Johnson 18, Boyd 9, Sim 2, Weisflog 2, Williams 6, Graves 4, Simmons 3
3-point goals: York 2 (Van Dyke, Shoats), Jamestown 1 (Boyd)
Tabb Trumps Poquoson
Tabb's basketball team made quick work of Poquoson on the road Thursday, cruising to an 80-43 victory behind 24 points from Imani McDowell-Jarmon.
The Tigers scored a large chunk of their points off turnovers, which led to layups and open jump shots in transition. With Tabb's relentless press on defense, the points kept coming.
By halftime, Tabb held a commanding 37-20 lead over Poquoson.
The scoring did not slow down in the second half for the Tigers, as Poquoson's defense struggled to slow down an explosive Tabb offense. Tabb was able to comfortably cruise down the stretch for the 37-point victory.
Tabb (11-1) will look to extend its five-game winning streak when the Tigers host Jamestown on Tuesday.
Tabb: 17 20 20 23 — 80
Poquoson: 11 9 13 10 — 43
Tabb: McDowell-Jarmon 24, Eastep 2, Royal 4, Smith 17, Williams 3, Macfarlane 7, Dadez 8, Harper 15
Poquoson: Moore 5, R. Erb 2, N. Erb 7, K. Forrest 6, Fan 13, A. Forrest 1, Jennings 9
3-point goals: Poquoson 3 (N. Erb, Fan, Moore)
Shorthanded Grafton Falls to Smithfield
Grafton's roster for Thursday's home contest against Smithfield was more bare than usual.
Already missing starting point guard Kierson Tavares with a knee injury, leading scorer Haley Cunningham began feeling ill earlier in the day.
The combination made for a tough night as the Clippers fell at home 48-23 to the Packers.
A strong first quarter by Grafton, during which Cunningham scored all eight of her points, found the Clippers leading Smithfield 13-9 after eight minutes of play.
Grafton continued to lead into the second quarter before the Clippers went cold on offense and Smithfield's depth and athleticism took over. By halftime, the Packers led 22-18.
Overall, Grafton shot 10-of-44 from the field and just 3-of-11 from the free-throw line in the game. The poor shooting allowed the game to get out of hand in favor of Smithfield as the Clippers scored five second-half points.
Grafton (5-5) will try to rebound on Tuesday during a road game against Poquoson.
Smithfield: 9 13 12 14 — 48
Grafton: 13 5 1 4 — 23
Smithfield: Atkinson 18, Parker 1, Jordan 11, Tucker 6, Allmond 11, Hill 2
Grafton: Cunningham 8, Green 2, Swann 5, Smith 8
3-point goals: Smithfield 1 (Allmond)
Lafayette Runs Past New Kent
Lafayette's girls basketball team had little trouble defeating New Kent on the road Thursday, winning by a final margin of 71-46.
With the win, Lafayette was able to snap a two-game losing streak and get back to an even winning percentage on the season.
Lafayette (5-5) will host Warhill on Tuesday.
Individual statistics were not reported for this game.
Lafayette 71, New Kent 46