Watson Chapel Head Coach Leslie Henderson decided to mix it up Tuesday by starting five seniors in their last home game as members of the Lady Wildcats (22-3). Three of the five seniors who started usually come off of the bench, but in a whopping 69-18 win over Little Rock Mills, the difference in talent was negligible because of their effort.
Watson Chapel came into the game as a heavy favorite, as Mills hadn't won a game in the blended district all season. The Lady Wildcats got into the passing lanes, pressured the ball and made their layups to open up a lead.
Senior Jakhiyah Boston was huge for the Lady Wildcats early to get them going. Things were simply too easy for senior Jerrica Bell down low as Mills just didn't have an answer on defense. With 1:55 to play in quarter one, Mills Head Coach Phelisia Woods called a timeout after her team found themselves down by 12. At the next dead ball, Henderson went with a platoon swap of five new players, including three of the five regular starters.
Lady Wildcats senior Desiree Warfield came in and was very active getting to loose balls, posting up deep in the lane and crashing the boards. Watson Chapel sophomore starting point guard Wyvette Mayberry entered the game and set the tone on both ends of the floor, not letting the Wildcats fall into complacency.
Mills connected on their first field goal of the second quarter with a little over four minutes to play. At that time, the Wildcats were on a monstrous run, holding a commanding 34-9 lead.
Henderson finally called off the troops and went with her reserves with this one far out of reach. The Lady Wildcats, who came in and played big in those minutes, were all sophomores. Sophomore Ky'aria Ginger, sophomore Zmari Boyce and sophomore Tekerra Mayweather all show promise for the future.
Mayweather showcased her quickness and court vision, Boyce showed her ability to finish at the rim, while Ginger was a load in the post and served as the game's leading scorer.
Watson Chapel outscored Mills 25-7 in the second half to gain a blowout senior night win and send their girls out in style.
Watson Chapel senior Jerrica Bell finished with 10 points, and Ky'aria Ginger finished with 16 points.
Senior night for the Watson Chapel Wildcats was spoiled by an 83-63 loss to the No. 1 team in the state, the Little Rock Mills Comets. Watson Chapel Head Coach Marcelle Goins referenced the firepower that Mills possesses, and it was on full display.
Watson Chapel came out swinging as they attempted to go blow for blow with the Comets. After one quarter of play, Mills held a seven-point lead, and the Wildcats were still in range.
Mills scores at such a high clip that if teams are not on their game defensively, they pile it on in bunches. Even with Watson Chapel playing hard and giving it all they had, the Comets outscored them 20-12 in quarter two, taking a 39-24 advantage into the intermission.
"We actually were there and we just had a period in the second where we didn't get the job done," Goins said. "They end up going into halftime up by 15."
In the second half, the Wildcats weren't ever able to really cut into the deficit, and Goins said, Mills has a lot of weapons.
In the first, the Comets scored 19, in the second they scored 20, in the third they scored 19, and in the final quarter they scored 25. That type of consistency in scoring per quarter is hard for anybody to deal with, and the Comets bring it night-in and night-out.
For Watson Chapel, one of their seven seniors, Bacarrion Black, was their leading scorer with 15 points.
Mills senior guard Grehlon Easter has been a problem for the Wildcats this season, and he finished with a game-high 21 points, while he was followed by junior forward Devin Cross with 19 points.
Goins was complimentary of the Comets after competition.
"They're just a complete ball club, and (they have) so many weapons, so we had to be a good defensive team collectively," Goins said. "We shot ourselves in the foot. We scored 16 in the third and 23 in the fourth, and got it to 10 late. They went on a run and we end up getting defeated by 20."