ADAMS TOWNSHIP — A 17-3 second-half run Thursday night proved to be the difference for Wilmington’s girls basketball team, as they defeated Clinton-Massie 52-41.
The run followed the Lady Falcons (0-5, 0-2 SBAAC-American) taking their first lead of the game.
Mckenzie Avery’s basket with 1:43 left gave Massie a 36-34 lead. The Falcons didn’t score again for more than five minutes.
WHS head coach Zach Williams credited his team’s execution down the stretch.
“Our girls did what they were supposed to do,” Williams said. “They stopped gambling as much. They kept people in front of them (on defense). We did not do that in the beginning. We let Massie hang around.
“(Massie) was going to fight. They can score points if you let them do what they want to do.”
The fourth quarter decided the contest. In the final frame, Wilmington outscored Clinton-Massie 16-5, outrebounded the Falcons 16-8 and forced 12 of Clinton-Massie’s 29 turnovers.
“The difference was we didn’t take care of the basketball,” CM head coach Tim McGraw said. “We had four or five — maybe six — straight possessions where we turned the ball over. That was the difference in the game.”
All tied at 36 to open the quarter, Wilmington (2-2, 2-0) scored 10 of the first 11 points to open up some breathing room. A Miranda Crawford basket with 3:58 left pulled Massie within seven, but they would get no closer.
Wilmington’s top two scorers were freshmen. Katie Murphy had 15 points and five rebounds. Fellow ninth-grader Sophie Huffman filled the stat sheet: 11 points, eight rebounds, five assists and six steals.
“We’re four games in, and we’re still figuring out how to respond to adversity at times,” Williams said. “It takes some time. I’ve seen some growth in those younger girls doing things. They have to keep learning and keep growing. Take what we’re telling them and apply it week-to-week and day-to-day.”
Patience Chowning kept the Falcons in the game with her outside shooting. She knocked down 3 of 4 from three-point range and led Clinton-Massie with 11 points. Crawford added 10 points, five rebounds and four steals.
“We fought hard,” McGraw said. “We went toe-to-toe with, hands down, one of the best teams in the league. Even without Mya (Jackson), they’ve got a lot of good basketball players. We’re getting better.”
Thursday, Dec. 5, 2019
At Clinton-Massie High School
Wilmington 52, Clinton-Massie 41
(52) WILMINGTON (fg-3fg-ft-tp) Jasmine Jamiel 3-2-1-9, Sami McCord 4-0-0-8, Caroline Diels 0-0-1-1, Sophie Huffman 5-1-0-11, Katie Murphy 7-0-1-15, Karlie Morgan 2-0-4-8. TOTALS 21-3-7-52.
(41) CLINTON-MASSIE (fg-3fg-ft-tp) Maddie Phipps 4-0-0-8, Patience Chowning 4-3-0-11, Avery Cranmer 1-0-0-2, Miranda Crawford 5-0-0-10, Mckenzie Avery 3-1-2-9, McKenna Branham 0-0-1-1. TOTALS 17-4-3-41.
FIELD GOALS: W 21/66 (Murphy 7/14, Huffman 5/11, McCord 4/12); CM 17/49 (Crawford 5/8, Chowning 4/10)
3 POINT FIELD GOALS: W 3/17 (Jamiel 2/6); CM 4/10 (Chowning 3/4)
FREE THROWS: W 7/17 (Morgan 4/6); CM 3/7
REBOUNDS: W 40 (McCord 8, Huffman 8, Morgan 6, Murphy 5); CM 43 (Doss 7, Phipps 6, Chowning 6, Crawford 5)
ASSISTS: W 12 (Huffman 5, Jamiel 3, McCord 3); CM 8 (Chowning 2, Branham 2)
STEALS: W 14 (Huffman 6, Jamiel 3, McCord 3); CM 11 (Crawford 4, Branham 4)
BLOCKED SHOTS: W 1 (Morgan); CM 2 (Phipps 1, Cranmer 1)
TURNOVERS: W 14; CM 29
Matt Sexton covers high school sports for the News Journal. Follow him on Twitter @bymattsexton.