The Chatham Charter women’s basketball team won its fifth game in a row Friday, beating Providence Grove, 55-40.
The Knights overcame a physical, scrappy battle largely due to senior Meah Brooks’ dominant paint presence and a strong defensive team effort.
Brooks got going early, scoring the Knights’ first six points while also making a difference on the defensive end by forcing turnovers. All night, Brooks used her size and finishing ability to become the team’s offensive focal point.
Providence Grove tried to send bodies at Brooks to make her uncomfortable near the basket, but it just led to more free throw opportunities. She didn’t waste them often, making eight of her 12 free throw attempts throughout the night.
By the end of the first quarter, Brooks already had 10 points and two steals, and by halftime, she had 17 of Chatham Charter’s 25 points.
In the second half, Brooks kept up the aggression on both ends of the floor, but that came with a cost as she fouled out with plenty of time left to play. She ended the game with 24 points.
Thanks to some quick hands from freshman Hannah Headen and senior Delana Loflin, who combined for six steals, Chatham Charter turned defense into offense while simultaneously stopping any effort from Providence Grove to climb back into the game.
Despite missing Brooks for the final minutes, Loflin held it down on the offensive end, too, scoring nine of her 12 points in the second half. Headen scored eight of her 12 points in the final two quarters as well.
The Knights were also able to force Providence Grove into tough shots, using the zone to clog up driving lanes and coerce the Patriots into desperation threes on its last possessions. The Patriots got hot from deep during certain parts of the second half, but it wasn’t enough to pull off the road win over Chatham Charter.
Coming off of last winter’s state title appearance, the Knights have continued to look like one of the toughest teams to beat in 1A. Brooks and a talented guard in Headen have provided the team a consistent, high-scoring duo that the offense can rely on.
At least one of the two has scored over 20 points in four games this year.
The Knights have also won each of their first five games by double-digits, and they’ve had at least two double-digit scorers in every one of those matchups.
Chatham Charter will travel to Voyager Tuesday at 6 p.m.