Whitfield Girls Force Overtime, Get Win Against Principia
Warriors win dramatic conference game.
Whitfield used the momentum from Stephanie Anderson's game-tying 3-pointer at the end of regulation to push past Principia 50-45 Tuesday night, Jan. 25 at Whitfield.
The win puts the Warriors at 8-4 overall and 1-1 in conference. The game was the first conference loss for the Panthers, who are now 12-4 overall and 3-1 in conference play.
Whitfield began the fourth quarter down 32-35, which was quickly 32-37. The Warriors patiently worked their way back to a 42-40 lead with 1:51 left. Foul shots gave the Panthers a 45-42 lead with 13 seconds remaining in regulation. Whitfield passed the ball in and found Anderson open at nearly half-court.
“We obviously knew Stephanie was going to get the ball at the end of the game,” Whitfield coach Deidre Cason-Sumrall said, “even if they were going to double or triple team.”
“I don’t even know what I was thinking, really,” Anderson said. “All I know I was tired and I just shot extra hard and extra high and it just happened to go in…it was so high.”
Principia coach Shad Nichols gives Anderson the credit. “She hit a big-time shot. It’s not like she caught it, had a few seconds to think about it, check the wind…she hit that off the dribble,” he said.
Whitfield started strong, jumping to a 16-6 lead after one quarter. In the second quarter it was Whitfield that scored only six, as Principia netted 15. Whitfield was up 22-21 at the half.
“We went into halftime we were down a little bit,” Cason-Sumrall said. “We have to get our girls getting used to working the whole game, and not dropping out a quarter.”
Anderson hit for nine in the first. Principia’s Gilman had six and junior Kara Johnson netted seven in the second period. Gilman was team-high with 17 for the game, Johnson doubled-doubled, netting 11 and rebounding 13. Whitfield had three in double figures. Anderson was game-high with 19, freshman Sharre Smith had 14 and junior Chanelle Valentine added 11.
Principia scored first in the third quarter, then two Gilman 3-pointers, and a Gilman assist to senior Becca DeNicholas gave the Panthers an eight-point, 35-27 lead. Whitfield answered with two from sophomore Sarah Ashmore and a 3-pointer from Smith at the buzzer to cut it to 35-32 after three.
“We got down a little bit too much,” Nichols said. “That momentum they had in the first quarter, I think really carried them and sustained them throughout the game, regardless of the runs that we had.”
It only gets tougher for Principia. They play at Westminster on Friday, Jan. 28, to start a very hard run. Ditto for Whitfield. The Warriors play Kirkwood at Villa Duchesne on Thursday, Jan. 27.