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Lady ’Cats use defense to hang on for SHAC win over Eastern

The Highland County Press - Staff Photo - Create Article
Whiteoak senior Molly McMullen is pictured in the Lady Wildcats' SHAC win over Eastern, Monday at WHS. (HCP Photos/Stephen Forsha)
Stephen Forsha, The Highland County Press

MOWRYSTOWN — Having a combined 47 points scored between the Whiteoak Lady Wildcats and the Eastern Lady Warriors Monday night, it was defense by the home team WHS squad that sent the Lady ’Cats to the 24-23 win.

Though the defense kept Whiteoak and Eastern in the game, the game-winning basket came from a shot by Kylee Hamm with 6.7 left on the fourth-quarter clock, as her one-handed shot sent the team to victory.

WHS head coach Ron Harris said following the game that though the offensive effort wasn’t where it needed to be, the defense of his team is their identity, and the player who kept WHS in the game on that side of the court was Molly McMullen.

“When you see games like that, you see the shot that gets made to win, but sometimes you forget the winning plays. Yeah, Kylee made the shot. We needed that. That was huge, to step up and make it when she didn't make many shots tonight, the confidence and the aggressiveness to go in and get that shot,” Harris said. “But players like Molly McMullen, she made winning plays for three straight quarters. I mean, you talk about winning a close game like that. The last shot didn't win the game. The plays that Molly, and some of the other girls when they wanted to play — those plays won the game. We have to all play like Molly did tonight for the whole game, not pick and choose when we want to play.”

Whiteoak opened the game with an 11-8 lead by the time the first frame ended, with WHS scoring the first point of the game off a free throw by Addison Roberts. After Eastern took the lead with a basket, it was Whiteoak who took the lead back with a 3-pointer from Kelsey Monteith with 6:15 left in the opening frame.

The Lady Wildcats added to their lead with a 3-pointer by Jaylie Parr at the 5:13 mark of the first quarter for a 7-3 advantage. Eastern cut the lead with a basket by Emmalee Belmont, only to see WHS answer with two free throws made by Lydia Carr and a layup by Parr for an 11-5 advantage.

Having the lead with 3:30 left on the first-quarter clock, the Wildcats fended off three final points at the end of the frame by Eastern for the 11-8 score.

The second frame saw Whiteoak outscored by Eastern, 5-2 with Whiteoak scoring two points off free throws by Roberts. Eastern’s points came with a 3-pointer by Clara Martin and a jumper by Tabby Schumacher, leaving the score tied at 13-13 at halftime.

“Defense is what we are, and we shoot a lot, but we didn’t shoot very well,” Harris said. “Tonight we shot 16 percent. I've never been in a game in my life where you won shooting under 20, so it definitely shows defense. Luckily they (Eastern) weren’t shooting much better. I think there were 24 percent or something like that. It's defense first, but the first half, we kept letting them get back cuts and stuff off with a simple flex. A couple of my main girls are just not ready to work hard in the first half.”

Whiteoak held a one-point lead at the end of the third at 20-19, outscoring the Lady Warriors 7-6. Eastern scored first with a made free throw by Jenna Mobley, then took a three-point lead with a 3-pointer by Schumacher with 5:18 left in the third.

Whiteoak answered with two made free throws by Parr at the 5:02 mark, bringing WHS to within one point of tying the game.

The Lady ’Cats regained the lead with a jumper by Hamm with 3:32 left in the third, for a 17-16 lead, and Parr put Whiteoak ahead by four points with a 3-pointer with 1:37 left in the quarter for a 20-16 lead. Eastern ended the third with a 3-pointer at the buzzer from Martin, leaving WHS in the lead by a 20-19 score.

Both team scored four points each in the final frame, with Hamm scoring the game-winning basket, and before that McMullen having a basket that broke the tied score and put WHS in the lead with 3:16 left in the final quarter.

In the fourth for Eastern, Belmont and Schumacher each scored a basket.

Parr led all scorers for Whiteoak and the game with 10 points, followed by Hamm with four points. Scoring three points each were Monteith and Roberts, while scoring two points each were McMullen and Carr. Carr led WHS with 10 rebounds.

Eastern was led by Martin with nine points, followed by Schumacher with eight points, Belmont with five points and Mobley with one point.

Next for WHS is a game on Wednesday, Dec. 6 at Zane Trace in a non-conference contest.

The win moves WHS to 3-0 in the SHAC and 3-1 overall. Eastern is now 0-1 in the SHAC and 1-1 overall.

    08 05 06 04 — 23
WHS    11 02 07 04 — 24

WHITEOAK (24) — M.McMullen 1 (0) 0-3 2, K.Monteith 0 (1) 0-0 3, B.Hill 0 (0) 0-4 0, K.Hamm 2 (0) 0-0 4, L.Carr 0 (0) 2-2 2, A.Roberts 0 (0) 3-4 3, J.Parr 1 (2) 2-2 10. TOTALS: 4 (3) 7-15 24.

EASTERN (23) — J.Mobley 0 (0) 1-2 1, E.Belmont 2 (0) 1-2 5, T.Schumacher 3 (0) 2-4 8, C.Martin 0 (3) 0-0 9. TOTALS: 5 (3) 4-8 23.