Lady Wave hang on for thriller over Houston

Staff Writer

The West Point girls basketball team built a 10-point lead through three quarters and then withstood a furious rally by visiting Houston to record a 49-47 win Tuesday night.

On the boys side the Hilltoppers roared out to an early lead and coasted to a 76-42 victory.

The girls game was tight in the first half, with West Point leading 14-12 at the first break with star senior center Jamia Hollings leading the way with 11 points. Hollings cooled off in the second quarter and both offenses slowed with Houston pulling even at 21-all at the half.

The Lady Wave’s defense took over in the third quarter, holding the Lady Hilltoppers to four points while West Point stretched to a 35-25 advantage.

Then things got interesting.

The Hilltoppers got hot and both teams started to foul. Unfortunately, West Point only hit 6 of 16 free throws in the quarter, letting Houston edge back in it. The Lady Hilltoppers hit 5 of 10 from the line but also hit from the field, slowly cutting in to the lead, outscoring West Point 22-14 in the final frame to fall just short of the comeback.

Interestingly, West Point’s first win of the year was a 62-51 victory over Houston in the season opener at the Caledonia Classic in early November.

“I think we played well second and fourth quarters. The younger girls were playing timid until the fourth quarter. I think it has a lot to do with playing at home in front of their family and friends. I’ve noticed we have played better as a team on the road than at home,” Coach Dash Daniels said of his squad.

“It was a good learning experience for them understanding end-of-the-game situational basketball. Overall, I was pleased with the win. We just need to put four solid quarters together,” Daniels added.

Hollings led West Point with 30 points. In addition to 11 in the first quarter, she hit eight in the third and six in the fourth.

Shania Givens chipped in eight, Goia Robinson and Taylor Brownlee added three each, and Alexis Bell and Taylor Fair had two a piece. Aquana Brownlee paced Houston with 13 Makayla Crowley added 10 Anna Morgan Jenkins chipped in seven and Tjayola Jones added six.

In the boys game, Houston stretched a 17-8 first quarter lead to 39-14 at the half and didn’t look back.

Interestingly, the Green Wave flipped the score on Houston in the season opener at Caledonia, winning 61-33.

Tuesday night, Perry Morrow led West Point scoring with 12, including seven in the fourth quarter. Dishoune Cooperwood added nine, Kenwaun Randle scored six, Mikengus Randle had five, Brandon Harris had three, Chianti Henderson, J.B. Harrell, and Reco Bailey two each, and Zabien Wingo one.