After giving up 41 points in the first half and losing big to Manchester the last time they faced them, the Lady ‘Cats were looking for revenge on their home court on Thursday night. Whiteoak played a defensive first half and were able to go into halftime with a 25-21 lead. But two threes by Manchester’s Haylee Adams to start the third, shifted momentum away from the Lady ‘Cats and they were unable to get it back, losing 55-43.
The Whiteoak girls basketball team got out to an early lead over Southern Hills Athletic Conference opponent Manchester in the first half, taking a 9-8 lead into the second.
Thirteen seconds into the second quarter, Manchester struck first and pulled ahead 10-9. Over the next four minutes, it was a back and forth affair, neither team giving up much ground to the other. Then, with 4:11 left to go, the Lady ‘Cats went on a 10-0 run.
At 4:11, Jayde Parr started the run with a layup to put Whiteoak back up on top 17-16. She was followed by a basket by Emily Stratton at 3:27. With 3:03 to go, the Lady Greyhounds fouled Parr, putting Whiteoak in the bonus and sending Parr to the line where she was able to cash in on one of the shots. At 2:24, Emma Wardlow got into the scoring frenzy when she buried a three pointer with a Manchester defender right in front of her. Whiteoak’s Stratton capped off the scoring drive with another basket to put the Lady ‘Cats well ahead of the Lady Greyhounds 25-16. But, not wanting to go into the half with such a deficit, Manchester was able to bring themselves back to within four with a layup and a three pointer that came with only 23 seconds left on the clock.
“We played really well in the first half and had a four point lead to show for it.” coach Mike Cooper said after the loss. “We did a really good job of rebounding and keeping them off the boards in the first [half]. In the second [half], they controlled the boards on us and beat us to open up wide open shots. We didn’t rotate out on the Adams girl and she buried two threes in a row right out of the half and had a really nice fourth quarter. We then stopped running our offense. We have to do a better job of blocking out and sitting down and guarding on the defensive end. We have to do a better job on the defensive end and we’ll come back in the gym tomorrow and get ready to work on it.”
After the half, the Lady Greyhounds picked up right where they left off at the end of the second quarter. Manchester’s Haylee Adams came out and right at the start of the third and swished a shot from behind the line to quickly bring the Lady Greyhounds back to within one point. Manchester struck again at 6:50 with a steal and and layup by Rainelle Casey but Whiteoak was finally able to get in the scoring column in the fourth with a free throw made by Amber Gorman. But on Manchester’s trip down the floor following the free throw, Adams was able to get open, and was again able to drain a three point shot to make the score 29-26 Manchester.
Scoring went cold for both teams for about two minutes and Whiteoak was finally able to snap the drought with a basket by Amber Gorman off a amazing drive and dish by Emma Wardlow to make it 29-28, Whiteoak only down by one. After that, Emma Wardlow was able to beat her defender to get into the lane and put up a shot where she was unable to make the basket but was fouled hard and sent to the line. She was able to make one of two from the charity stripe to even the score at 29 all. The next two baskets were made by Summer Wilburn and Haylee Adams, both for Manchester to make it 33-29, but Whiteoak came right back with two baskets of their own. The first was made by Brittany Luman and the second by Emily Stratton. Stratton put up a shot that missed, but her hustle got her her own rebound and she was able to put up an easy layup to tie it at 33. But, as it had been the whole game, Manchester was able to get the last shot in, this one coming with only two seconds left on the clock. The Lady Greyhounds got the ball on their side of the court and with time running down, Tess Burns put up a jumper from behind the line over her defender and the ball found the bottom of the net right before the buzzer sounded to lift Manchester up give them the three point edge.
In the fourth quarter, Manchester seemed to feed off the momentum of their last second three pointer from the third outscoring Whiteoak 19-10 in the quarter to bring the final to 55-43, Manchester defeating the Lady ‘Cats.
Whiteoak girls will be back in action on Tuesday when they travel to Fairfield High School to take on the SHAC and Highland County opponent the Lady Lions.
WHS – 9 16 8 10 – 43
MHS – 8 13 15 19 – 55
Whiteoak: Wardlow 2(2) 1/2 – 11, Luman 3 3/6 – 9, Stratton 4 – 8, Carr 1 2/4 – 4, Gorman 1 1/2 – 3, Cummings (1) – 3, Parr 1 1/2 – 3, Lehr 1 – 2. Totals: 13(3) 8/16 – 43.
Manchester: Adams 1(3) 5/7 – 16, Rideout 6 – 12, Casey 5 0/1 – 10, Burns 2(1) 1/4 – 8, Johnson 2(1) 0/2 – 7, Wilburn 1 – 2. Totals: 17(5) 6/14 – 55.