North Clay's Shelby Sands challenges two Woodrow Wilson defenders in the third quarter of Wednesday's game.
North Clay's eighth-grade Lady Knights continued their roll Wednesday, manhandling Woodrow Wilson middle school en route to a 38-19 victory.
The win was the fourth in a row for the Knights, who have begun to put together an impressive season after an inauspicious 2-2 start. North Clay Coach Anita Miller chalked her team's effort against the Lady Warriors up to their slow but steady growth as a team.
"This was probably the best game we've had," she said. "They're starting to play a little better as a team each game."
The Lady Knights (6-2) outshined Woodrow Wilson in every aspect of the game, putting together a balanced offensive attack in the first half while severely limiting the Warriors' scoring chances. Case-in-point: After a quick two off the tip-off by North Clay's Emily Phillips, Woodrow Wilson's first possession drug on for nearly two full minutes before a contested jump shot by Taryn Decker clanged off the iron into the hands of a North Clay rebounder.
It didn't get any easier for the Warriors, who tallied five points before enduring a six-minute scoring drought bridging the first and second quarters. The Knights, on the other hand, continued to cruise. Shelby Sands nailed a turnaround jumper under the basket with 3:50 to play in the half, capping a 9-0 Knights run.
But short bursts of first-half offense from two Wilson players kept the Warriors in the game. Guard Trebby Ellington hit for three at 3:00 in the first to put her team on the board, then nearly did the same on the ensuing possession, dropping in a long two with one foot on the line. And Wilson center Fran McCarthy's buzzer-beating jumper from the top of the key, two of her four points in the final minute-and-a-half of the second, cut the Knights lead to 17-10 at halftime.
The Warriors couldn't, however, carry that momentum into the second half, beginning the third quarter with another extended dry spell. The Knights had scored another 10 points by the time a Taryn Decker three-pointer ended the Warriors' skid with 2:37 left in the third. North Clay added a 6-0 run to start the fourth quarter, effectively icing the game.
Phillips and Ali Sharton led the Knights with 10 points apiece, followed by Shelby Sands with seven.
Up next for the Knights (5-2 overall) is a Tuesday game at home against Sullivan beginning at 6 p.m.