Lady Patriots even the season series with the Lady Devils
White House Heritage stayed within arms length of White House throughout the game until they took the lead for good in the fourth quarter on their way to a 40-37 victory Friday night.
Both teams struggled to score most of the game, combining for only 12 points in the first quarter. They went into halftime tied at 16.
With just over six minutes remaining, White House held a 29-26 lead. In less than two minutes, Heritage went on a dominant 11-0 run that pushed them to victory.
Heritage head coach Clay Head said they could have played much better, despite picking up their third consecutive win.
“We played really, really bad, but yet we somehow found a way to win,” Head said. “You can’t win games turning the ball over every time down the floor, but still, you know, we kept it close and kept it close until eventually we were able to find some kind of semblance of an offense and rhythm.”
The Lady Patriots have turned their season around after losing their first nine games, including a 27-point defeat at the hands of the Lady Devils. The improvement shows.
“Two months ago, we wouldn’t have won tonight, but we’re getting better as a team,” Head said. “We’re learning how to win. We’re not gonna be a pretty team. We’re just not, so we’re gonna have to grit out some wins, and somehow tonight we’re able to do that.”
It is their second district victory of the season, and winning a crucial game against a rival when they are not playing their best is a great sign.
“I think it’s a big one because for a little while during the game our body language looked like we were gonna lose, you know, out there on the floor,” Head said. “They kept looking to me after mistakes and things. Our body language wasn’t good, but we somehow managed to to fight through it.”
White House head coach Kelly Smelcer said it is impossible to deny how much better Heritage has been playing.
Alexis Bess, Marley Hyde and Carmen Perkins all fouled out in the fourth quarter, and with an already short-handed roster, fatigue played a part, according to Smelcer.
“I think fatigue kind of got us a little bit there in the fourth quarter,” Smelcer said. “We’re down. We’ve had some girls that have been out. This was their first game back. We’ve got some girls. They’re still out with some sickness issues.
“It was a physical game with the high foul count which, you know, didn’t necessarily bode well for us, fatigue rising, running out of some bodies, having three starters fouling out in the fourth quarter was hard on this team. We were a good three-quarter team tonight.”
Despite the loss, Smelcer said everything is still ahead for her team.
“We’re fine,” Smelcer said. “We’re right where we need to be. We’re continuing to work hard. The girls are still bought in, and we’re gonna be just fine.”
White House Heritage (40) – Kinsley Caruthers 14, Claire King 11, Bayleigh Ballard 6, Bekah Lamberth 5, Emily Clifford 2, Macey Gardner 2
White House (37) – Regan Anderson 9, Alexis Bess 8, Carmen Perkins 5, Hannah Crabtree 4, Abigail Bradley 3, Chloe Hart 3, Faithe Johnstone 3, Marley Hyde 2
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