Judges girls knock off Wood 47-40
Posted: January 31, 2014
Special to The Winchester Star
WINCHESTER — Over the last month Handley sophomore Alysandra Worrell has been playing as well or better then just about everyone in the Northwestern District, so it was no surprise to see her take over the game Thursday night.
Worrell (24 points) and classmate Angelica Robinson (13) combined to score 37 points and rallied the Judges from a seven-point first-half deficit to a 47-40 confidence-building Northwestern District victory over James Wood at the Colonels’ Donald H. Shirley Gymnasium.
“Pregame we just stressed that 99 percent [of basketball] is heart, hustle, and commitment,” Handley coach Marvin Scott said. “If you do that and don’t get in a mental funk you'll be all right. We can’t get down on ourselves about things that have already happened and can’t control.
“They did a better job in the second half of controlling the game and themselves. They just hustled all night long. I can’t express how proud I am of them, they just stuck to the script. They didn’t come to keep it close, they had the confidence to win tonight. Tonight you had to take it from them, they weren’t going to give it away.”
The first quarter was back and forth with each team enjoying no more then a two-point lead and the Colonels leading it 10-9 after one thanks to an offensive rebound and stickback by Whitney Dick.
James Wood (10-6, 1-4 Northwestern District) took advantage of some serious shooting woes for the Judges in the second quarter to build a seven-point advantage.
Handley (3-9, 2-2) missed 17 shots in the second quarter alone and didn’t make its first field goal of the second period until there was just 2:01 showing on the clock.
All the while the Colonels were building an 18-11 cushion.
Less then two minutes into the second quarter Danielle Rizzari hit a short jumper for Wood to make it 12-9.
After a pair of free throws by Handley’s Jacqueline Trabosh cut it back to one the Colonels went on a 6-0 run.
Six straight points over a two-minute stretch by junior Sarah Johnson made it 18-11 with 3:22 left in the half.
Seeing another first-half deficit, the Judges could have easily thrown in the towel but instead they responded with a run of their own that may have well turned the game around in their favor.
Trabosh hit a free throw before Worrell scored four straight points, two on a layup followed by a pair of free throws, making it 18-16.
Rizzari hit a free throw for the Colonels, but with less than a minute to go in the first half Robinson finally got into the scoring column for the Judges when she knocked down a 3-pointer and sent the teams into the locker room deadlocked at 19-19.
Trailing 22-21 early in the third quarter the Judges went on a 6-0 run to build what was their biggest lead of the game 27-22.
Worrell scored from in close to give the lead back to the Judges, a lead they would never give back up. Miriah Smith then hit a layup and Robinson made the lead five when she hit a short jumper from just outside the paint.
The Judges built up another five-point lead later in the quarter on Robinson’s second 3-pointer of the game which made it 30-25 with 2:00 left in the third.
Brooke Nesselrodt and Dick scored on back-to-back possessions for the Colonels to trim the deficit to 31-29 at the end of the third quarter.
Handley’s first-half cold shooting moved over to the other side of the court as the Colonels started to struggle offensively and the Judges began to build a comfortable advantage.
Hannah Long started the fourth quarter scoring by hitting a pair from the line for the Judges to make it 33-29.
After Kaitlyn Crane hit a short jumper for Wood the Judges scored five in a row. Scarlett Hutchins hit a field goal then Robinson drained another long trey to make it 38-31 with 6:02 to play.
From that point on it was almost entirely Worrell and it nearly all came from the free-throw line.
After Crane cut the deficit to 38-33 for Wood, Worrell scored on the next three Handley possessions, one field goal and three free throws to give the Judges their biggest lead of the night at 43-33.
Handley only made three field goals in the fourth quarter and they were all in the first four-plus minutes of the quarter.
The Judges went to the free throw line 18 times in the final eight minutes, and though they would have liked to make much more then they did, they made enough to keep the lead and hold on for a very satisfying victory.
“We were thirsty for a win after all of our losses,” Worrell said. “This is our turnaround point and we’re just trying to go up from now on. We played with our heart and we hustled and today we worked as a team.
“Everyone played to their potential. Our confidence is definitely up even though we lost to Millbrook. It’s a big win, everybody is really excited.”
Trailing by 10 midway through the fourth, the Colonels didn’t go away or quit. Rizzari hit a 3-pointer to cut it to seven and later in the quarter Laura Seymour nailed a trey of her own to cut the lead to six (45-39), but the Judges were able to make just enough free throws to get the victory.
“I think we did a lot of things differently (in the second half). We didn't score for one,” James Wood coach Krista Crites said. “We haven’t scored offensively for about four games, we’re just not scoring.
“We’re not putting points on the board. We’re just not finishing. Not doing the job we’re supposed to do and I keep saying if they don’t play for four quarters we will lose.”
Nesselrodt scored nine for the Colonels. Rizzari added eight and Dick seven.