The Watson Chapel Lady Wildcats ended the winning streak of Little Rock Christian Lady Warriors Friday by beating them 62-42.
The Lady Warriors have a couple of Division I recruits, and they're led on the floor by junior guard Regan Bradley. Initially, Bradley and the Lady Warriors may have landed the first punch, but the Lady Wildcats finished the fight.
After one quarter of play, Watson Chapel trailed 14-11, and according to Head Coach Leslie Henderson, they never gained traction early on due to missed shots.
"I just think it kind of snow-balled," Henderson said. "We had a three go in-and-out, we just couldn't get them to fall, and it snow-balled."
In the second quarter, Henderson inserted sophomore Taylor Whitted. She was all over the floor doing the little things, and she was a key factor in the run Watson Chapel made in the second quarter to take the lead for good.
"Oh my gosh," Henderson said of Whitted. "She's just a sophomore and she played huge."
Along with Whitted, sophomore guard Wyvette Mayberry and senior forward Jerrica Bell spearheaded the attack.
Mayberry handled the basketball through pressure, made the right passes, and knocked down some shots. Bell put on a clinic in the post with an array of interior moves.
"Obviously they're huge for us," Henderson said of Mayberrry and Bell. "Mayberry, she does such a great job of handling the ball and running the team. Bell is hard to stop, she's got a mid-range jumper."
When the Lady Wildcats got rolling, they were hard for Little Rock Christian to stop. The Lady Warriors couldn't sustain a run to make it close enough in the fourth, and with about 30 seconds to play, Henderson pulled her starters.
Whitted finished with nine points off of the bench, Mayberry added 13, and Bell led all scorers with 23.
Once again, the little mistakes that Watson Chapel Wildcats Head Coach Marcelle Goins has previously spoke of showed up yet again in a 63-53 loss to the Little Rock Christian Warriors on Friday.
A prime example: The 10 turnovers that the Wildcats committed in the first half that helped the Warriors build a 37-27 lead going into halftime.
“Ten turnovers in the first half, I mean what else do I need to say?" Goins said. "That's what we had last game as a whole, and this game we commit 10 in the first half."
The Warriors didn't out-match the Wildcats in size, as their biggest guy, K. Bennett, came off the bench and didn't have much of an impact on the game as Goins had projected. The guy that had a target on his back heading into the contest was Arkansas Razorback commit Justice Hill.
Watson Chapel did a fair job containing Hill as he finished with 8 points. However, as Hill drove the lane, he drew extra defenders and kicked it to wide-open shooters. His backcourt mate M. Moore benefited the most, hitting four triples and finishing with a game-high 20 points.
"We didn't stick to the game plan by letting everybody else get wide-open looks," Goins said. "We weren't good on defense tonight. Our rotation was out of whack, and our offense really wasn't flowing. We only lose by 10, and we had a horrible performance."
Moore's third three gave the Warriors a 33-18 advantage mid-way through the third quarter. Watson Chapel point guard Kevon Mitchell responded with back-to-back three pointers to spark a 9-0 run to end the half.
Coming out of the break, Watson Chapel applied full court pressure, but the Warriors were able to break it for transition buckets.
With a little under four minutes in the game, a J. Hill layup gave the Warriors their biggest lead of the game at 17 points. However, down the stretch, Watson Chapel big man Willie Vaughn buried his defender in the post four consecutive times down the floor for easy lay ups.
"That's what we want him to do in order for us to be successful," Goins said of Vaughn. "He's got to be able to score on the inside in order to open up shots for the guards on the outside."
Vaughn finished with a team high 15 points, and Kavon Mitchell scored 14 points.