GALLATIN - The Wilson Central Lady Wildcats started the third quarter of their game Friday against the Station Camp with a 9-0 run to take control of the game and then held off a furious Lady Bison rally in the fourth quarter to claim a 58-52 win in District 9-AAA action.
Trailing 19-17 at halftime, Wilson Central Coach Erica Wilson told her team, “our energy wasn’t there.”
Every since Wilson Central’s top player, Sydnee Richetto, was lost for the rest of the season with an injury, “we’ve been down and out,” Wilson said.
She told her team, “We didn’t work this hard all season to not play Wilson Central basketball.”
“We had a good talk in the locker room,” said senior Nicole Brill, who scored 15 of her team-leading 21 points in the second half. “It got us fired up.”
The Lady Wildcats held a 38-26 lead after three quarters when Station Camp put together a run of its own.
Brill opened the fourth quarter with a 3-pointer to stretch Wilson Central’s lead to 15 points at 41-26. But Station Camp went on a 17-2 run to tie the score at 43-43 with 3:02 left in the game.
Heading into the fourth quarter, Station Camp Coach Miranda Cravens reminded her team they nearly lost a 26-point lead in the fourth quarter of their game against Gallatin. “Why not us?” she asked her team.
“They hit some big 3s,” Wilson said of Station Camp.
With the score tied at 43, Wilson Central’s Jasmin Angel drove to the basket and drew a foul. She hit the free throw to complete the 3-point play and gave the Lady Wildcats a lead they would not relinquish.
Down the stretch, Wilson Central hit 11 of 13 free throws, including six for six from Brill, to seal the win.
With Station Camp rallying, “I thought we needed to stay calm so we could pull out the win,” Brill said.
Wilson praised her team’s composure at the end of the game. “We got the ball in our seniors’ hands and they took over.”
“I told them before the game what would get us beat is giving up offensive rebounds,” Cravens said. “That’s what happened.”
“We had costly turnovers at critical times,” Cravens said. “We were struggling offensively all night” and had several costly turnovers at critical times.
“We were flat all three quarters until the fourth. I was not satisfied with our energy,” Cravens said. It wasn’t until the fourth quarter that the Lady Bison shrugged off their lethargy, she said. “I only wish I had seen that fire in the three quarters before.”
Station Camp was led by sophomore point guard Marissa Wirtz who scored 35 points, including 19 points in the fourth quarter and the Lady Bison’s last 13 points of the game.
Senior Faith Eubanks added 15 points for Station Camp, who only had three players score in the game. Reagan Morris had two points.
“It opens things up when we have people step up offensively (other than Wirtz and Eubank),” Cravens said. It makes it harder for other teams to concentrate on stopping the Lady Bison’s big two offensive weapons, she said.
The loss dropped Station Camp’s record to 12-12 and 5-6 in the district.
“We missed a huge opportunity,” Cravens said. “If we had won the game (we would be in) third place. Now we’re playing for “fourth or fifth”, as they head toward the district tournament, which starts on Feb. 21.
The Lady Bison will be on the road on Tuesday to face Mt. Juliet.
Wilson Central improved its record to 14-9 and 6-4 in the district, where they now hold third place behind Beech and Lebanon.
Next, the Lady Wildcats will play Portland on the road in another district match-up.
Girls Box Score
Wilson Central (58) Nicole Brill 21, Jakoria Woods 10,Savannah Kirby 9, Jasmin Angel 9, Campbell Strange 7, Sydney Dalton 2.
Station Camp (52) Marissa Wirtz 35, Faith Eubank 15, Reagan Morris 2.