Wood girls down Skyline, 46-29
Posted: January 16, 2013
Special to The Winchester Star
WINCHESTER — Despite having to deal with the news of an almost unbearable tragedy prior to the beginning of the James Wood-Skyline girls’ basketball game, the Colonels managed to find a way to pull together and get a 46-29 victory Northwestern District victory Tuesday.
James Wood senior Hunter Crane died following a single-vehicle crash in Hampshire County, W.Va., Tuesday afternoon.
“We had other things on our minds coming out to play tonight,” Wood coach Rhonda Slider said. “But we stuck it out and worked as hard as we could during the game and were able to come out on top.”
After losing to both Sherando and Millbrook to begin Northwestern District play, the win keeps the Colonels (9-5, 1-2 in district) within striking distance of the league leaders. The Hawks (3-12, 0-3) are still winless in district play.
Wood jumped ahead 6-0 over the first two minutes of play and never trailed in the contest. Skyline began the game by missing its first six field goal attempts and had trouble all night from the field.
The Hawks managed to hit just 2 of 16 shots from the field in the first eight minutes, giving the Colonels every opportunity to develop an insurmountable lead.
Wood used Skyline’s poor shooting to pull ahead 12-6 by the end of the opening period, but the Colonels had problems of their own.
“We just can’t find a way to score,” Hawks coach Jim Kenney said. “We hit just five shots the whole game. When you start the beginning of the game like that, then you start thinking about it and the next thing you know you have a night like this. It was like there was a lid on the basket.”
With 19 team fouls in the first half, both teams had the chance to use the free-throw line to get points. Wood, however, shot just 2 of 12 from the line in the first half, leaving the Hawks in a position to still win the game despite hitting only 3 of 27 from the field in the first half.
“We talked about free-throw shooting at half time and at the end of the game too,” Slider said. “That’s usually one of the best parts of our game, but we really had an off night tonight from the line. It is what it is though, and we’ll pull through this.”
With Wood leading 22-10 heading into the second half, Skyline sealed their doom by adding turnovers to its poor shooting. After committing just one turnover in the first quarter, the Hawk committed 21 over the next three periods.
Despite that, the Colonels weren’t able to build an overwhelming lead until late in the game. For Wood, it was foul troubles that kept them from pulling away. The Colonels committed 11 second-half fouls, and, unlike Wood, Skyline had no trouble taking advantage of it at the line.
The Hawks hit 14 of 16 from the line in the second half, representing all but five of their 19 second half points.
Skyline junior Jenny Norman was perfect from the line in the second half, hitting all four of her attempts, but it was Quinn Breeden who was the most effective scorer from the line for the Hawks. The junior point guard nailed 10 of her 12 fre- throw attempts to lead Skyline in scoring with 12 points.
None of that mattered, though, as Wood continued to hit its field goals, force turnovers, rebound, and, after Slider’s hafttime speech, managed to connect on five of its six field goal attempts in the second half.
“We usually have a tough time in the third quarter,” Slider said. “But this time we seemed to gather ourselves in the second half.
“I thought that our rebounding was the key in the second half. We really had a tough time rebounding against Jenny Norman in the first half. She was getting nearly everything on the boards in the first half, but I thought that we took care of the ball better in the second half, and got that under control.”
Besides Nesselrodt, Sarah Johnson also scored in double figures for Wood with 10 points and Keiana Brooks came off the Colonel bench to contribute nine points for Wood.
“Our inability to score from the field is something we coaches are going to have to figure out,” Kenney said. “Maybe it’s our rotation. Right now I just don’t know. I will say this — they put forth great effort in both the game and in our practices. It certainly has nothing to do with effort.”