Wheatmore tallied the first 11 points of the third quarter to break open a tight contest and limited Jordan-Matthews to 11 total points following intermission as the Lady Warriors pulled away in the …
Wheatmore tallied the first 11 points of the third quarter to break open a tight contest and limited Jordan-Matthews to 11 total points following intermission as the Lady Warriors pulled away in the second half to claim a 53-33 victory and capture fifth place in the 28th annual The Courier-Tribune Christmas Invitational Tournament at Asheboro High School Saturday afternoon.
The triumph lifted Wheatmore to 6-4 for the season while J-M, which lost to the Lady Warriors for the second time in six tourney matchups, tumbled to 4-7 overall. The Lady Jets were playing for fifth place in this yearly event for the 13th time, including five out of the past six years.
Taylor Comer led the victors with 16 points and Ashlyn Linville added a dozen as Wheatmore shot a blistering 57% (20-of-35) from the floor, including a perfect seven-for-seven from behind the bonus arc, and held a 26-25 edge on the boards while committing 23 turnovers.
Ellia Wright came off the bench to pace Jordan-Matthews with 12 points while leading scorer Jocelyn Mitchell, who came into the game averaging around 18 points an outing, was limited to a season-low six points.
J-M connected on just 29% (14-of-48) of its field goal attempts while turning the ball over 19 times.
“We knew Mitchell has been their best player for the last four years and were aware she can drive to the basket and shoot three-pointers as well, so we rotated the defense on her and knew where she was at all times,” said Lady Warriors’ coach Pete Kilcullen.
“I’m extremely proud of our effort today as this was the best overall performance we’ve had all season. We made our focus one-and-done on the defensive end while we ran our offensive sets to get wide open looks at the basket.”
Lady Jets’ coach Mel Dark related her squad was taking this game as a learning experience.
“I told our girls Wheatmore was a team that could shoot the three-ball well so we needed to close out hard on the perimeter, but that was a detail they didn’t grasp,” said Dark.
“When we tried to feed the ball to Jocelyn they collapsed on her to prevent her from getting many touches. We weren’t aggressive enough overall on offense, while we need to do a better job reading the other team’s defense.”
Avery Headen’s trey from the right wing gave Jordan-Matthews its first lead at 7-6 with 3:10 to go in the opening quarter and J-M led once again at 9-8 following Mitchell’s jumper in the lane at the 2:34 mark before the Lady Warriors closed out the frame with Linville’s jumper off the right baseline and Comer’s fast break layup to forge a three-point advantage after one period.
The Lady Jets narrowed the gap to 17-16 on Wright’s lane jumper with 4:31 left in the second stanza prior to Comer’s fast break layup that sparked a 10-6 quarter-ending run to put Wheatmore up by five at the midway point.
Kennedy Powell and Linville combined for seven points during the Lady Warriors’ 11-point blitz to begin the second half that increased their lead to 38-22 before they settled for a 42-27 advantage entering the final eight minutes.
Wheatmore eventually seized its biggest lead at 53-28 on Comer’s jumper in the lane with 3:52 remaining to play prior to Jordan-Matthews closing out the contest with a Makayla Glover put-back in the lane plus Wright’s layup and free throw.
J-M 9 13 5 6 – 33
WHE 12 15 15 11 – 53
Jordan-Matthews (4-7) – Mitchell 3 0-0 6 Wiley 1 0-0 2 Scotton 2 2-7 6 Headen 1 0-0 3 Ray 1 0-0 2 Glover 1 0-0 2 Brooks 0 0-0 0 Wright 5 1-3 12 Artis 0 0-0 0. Totals 14 3-10 33.
Wheatmore (6-4) – Linville 4 2-3 12 Tucker 2 0-0 6 Powell 3 2-4 8 TComer 7 0-0 16 Swaney 3 0-0 7 KComer 1 2-4 4 Biggs 0 0-0 0. Totals 20 6-11 53.
Halftime-Wheatmore, 27-22. Three-point goals-Jordan-Matthews 2-11 (Headen 1-3, Wright 1-4, Brooks 0-1, Mitchell 0-3); Wheatmore 7-7 (TComer 2-2, Linville 2-2, Tucker 2-2, Swaney 1-1). Fouled out-None. Rebounds-Jordan-Matthews 25 (Scotton 7); Wheatmore 26 (Powell 13). Turnovers-Jordan-Matthews 19; Wheatmore 23. Total fouls-Jordan-Matthews 10; Wheatmore 8.