The West Holmes Lady Knights continue to keep the Wooster Generals in their sites as they put together another impressive Ohio Cardinal Conference victory.
West Holmes put the wraps on the first trip through the Ohio Cardinal Conference by gaining an early edge and then keeping Mansfield Senior at bay in their Thursday, Jan. 3 contest at The Dungeon at West Holmes High School. In order to keep pace with the Generals, the Lady Knights had to fend off a whole bunch of 3-pointers by the Tygers. While Senior made a good number of treys, it was West Holmes’ defense inside the arc that made the biggest difference.
The Lady Knights got on top by 10 points in the game’s first three minutes and made that lead stand up all night long in taking down the Tygers 58-40 to improve to 6-3 overall and 5-1 in the Ohio Cardinal Conference. That 5-1 mark leaves the Lady Knights alone in second place in the OCC behind Wooster, which boasts a perfect record in league play.
On this night it was all about the big start for West Holmes, and it started with senior Regan Wilcox, who produced another strong game for the Lady Knights.
Wilcox scored on a put-back to start the game, Charolette Brown scored inside and Wilcox scored again off the press to make it 6-0. Wilcox then made a steal and fed Katrina Rolince for a score, and the senior then added a score of her own from in the paint. Just like that West Holmes held a 10-0 advantage. While the Tygers would sneak close throughout the game, the Lady Knights would never surrender that lead.
Talayzha Catchings did her part in helping the Tygers creep back into it, nailing two triples to help draw Mansfield Senior to within 14-8. Brown hit a long jumper, and Taylor Miller hit two free throws before Catchings drained her third trey of the quarter at the buzzer to make it 18-11 West Holmes.
West Holmes would come out firing in the second period, taking a 24-11 lead on two scores inside from Katie Sprang and a long jumper from Paige Race. A Catchings drive and a three-ball from Dakiya White offset scores from Sprang and Rolince, and Alicia Alexander took the first of two charge calls to end the half with the Lady Knights up 28-16.
Threes from Catchings and Jayjanae Feagin helped draw the Tygers to within seven points at 32-25 in the third period, but once again the Lady Knights responded when Race split two free throws and Alexander hit a pair of charity tosses. Senior would connect on four free throws near the end of the quarter to make it 40-34, which is as close as they would get because Race would drop in a huge 3-pointer to give West Holmes a 43-34 advantage heading into the final period.
The fourth quarter belonged all to the Lady Knights as they quickly extended their lead to 48-34 when Miller drove for two, Wilcox followed suit and Race made a steal that turned into a free throw.
Feagin hit her third three-ball of the game to draw Senior to within 51-40, but Miller made two free throws, Alexander made a steal that turned into a Wilcox three and Claire Reynolds scored in the paint to put the wraps on the win.
The key to victory was the early double-digit lead that gave West Holmes enough cushion that it could pressure Senior in both the full-court and the half-court sets. It also helped the Lady Knights overcome 17 turnovers, even though they also forced the Tygers into 15.
Hoisting from downtown
West Holmes realized quickly on that JR Wilson’s team was going to hoist up a bunch of 3-point attempts. Senior did just that, firing off a whopping 32 threes and connecting on nine of them. However, the Lady Knights’ interior defense proved to be the difference in the game. West Holmes held Senior to making just 3-of-24 shots inside the arc while the Lady Knights managed to make 20-of-41 two-point shots, also going 3-of-10 from beyond the arc. With the loss Mansfield Senior fell to 4-6 overall and 2-3 in league play.
Working the boards
The Lady Knights finished up the first round through the OCC with a solid win against a team that held a considerable height advantage against the Lady Knights.
However, West Holmes continued to be extremely active on the glass and rang up a 47-34 rebounding edge. That included an impressive evening on the offensive glass, where West Holmes created a number of second-chance opportunities for itself. Head coach Lindsy Snyder said several games ago that she wanted her team to develop a ferocious mentality when it came to rebounding, and the team has responded.
By the numbers
Wilcox led all scorers with 16 points, and she pulled down seven rebounds. Sprang finished with 11 points and grabbed four rebounds, and Brown added 10 points. Miller scored five points and grabbed seven rebounds while dishing out three assists, and Alexander also had seven rebounds and added three points. Race pitched in seven points, Katrina Rolince scored four points and Claire Reynolds rounded out the scoring for the Lady Knights with two points.
Another impressive JV victory
The Lady Knights junior varsity crew had a solid game and defeated Mansfield Senior 52-31 for a league win. Melanie Fair led all scorers with 18 points, and she also led the team with seven rebounds. Sayler Miller grabbed six rebounds and scored 10 points, and Amy Hughes finished with six rebounds as well and pitched in four points. Kinsey Patterson had three steals and dished out three assists while finishing with nine points. Sage Miller had two steals and three assists as well and finished the night with nine points. Claire Reynolds rounded out the scoring for the Lady Knights with two points.