“In the first half, we played our best half all season,” Woodland girls’ basketball coach Ashley Maddox said. “But in the second half, they stopped us on the perimeter. They were aggressive and [we] didn’t fight back with the same intensity.”
Si’Taraiya Nelloms scored 14 points for the Lady Panthers, who improved to 5-0 and had five other players finish with at least six points.
After letting an eight-point halftime lead (25-17) slip away, Woodland (5-1) still had a chance to pull out the victory when Stevens sank a pair of free throws to tie the score at 42-42 with 2:45 left in the fourth.
But Chynna Ewing nailed a 3-pointer and Jacquece Alston converted a layup while being fouled, extending the Lady Panthers’ lead to five with 1:47 to go.
Stevens would split a pair of free throws 13 seconds later to move Woodland slightly closer but Ewing would pull down a huge offensive rebound and score a layup with 53 seconds remaining.
“They outhustled us in the second half,” Maddox said. “We didn’t want it as bad as them.”
Kendricka Glover sank four foul shots down the secure the win for the Lady Panthers, who scored the first seven points of the third quarter and eventually held Woodland to just six points in the frame. The rematch between these two teams is scheduled for Jan. 4.
Stevens also had seven rebounds and four blocks. Freshman Vanessa Blagmon finished with six points, six rebounds and three steals off the bench. In the boys’ contest, the Wolfpack fell by the same margin (62-54). Raphael Jones scored 19 points and Deontae McClanahan and Daniel Durrett both added 12.
Chuma Okeke and Khalil Cuffee had 12 and 11 points, respectively, to lead the Panthers.