The Lady Pioneers from WCMS had their hands full on the road with a tenacious Lady Trojans offense backed by a relentless defense. The Franklin County South team was quicker on its feet and covered every square inch of the court Monday night.
The Lady Trojans set the tone early and handed the Lady Pioneers their first loss, 45-28.
Lady Trojan Ashtin Holman and her constant pursuit of the ball allowed her to lead all scorers with 12 points.
Franklin County South’s aggressive, physical style of play caught the Lady Pioneers by surprise and in the first quarter WCMS never had an opportunity to settle into a rhythm. Points in the first quarter were few and far between and Alora Stuart led the Lady Pioneers with three points.
Nautica Brown found the handle on a rebound and she spilt the defenders for her only basket of the first quarter. Savannah Cox decided to pull up for an open jumper that found its mark over the Lady Trojan defense.
The Lady Trojans were in an all-out sprint to the other end of the floor after a WCMS turnover. The Lady Pioneers were playing on their heels throughout the opening period. After one, the Lady Trojans led 17-7.
When the Lady Pioneers thought it could not possibly get any worse, the Lady Trojans stepped up their defensive pressure and the WCMS post players drew a double team before the ball could even be passed inside.
The Franklin South defense stifled the WCMS offense and the Lady Pioneers did not appear to have an answer. Halle Pennington picked up her dribble and fired from beyond the 3-point line. She was fouled and went to the free-throw line where she knocked down 2-of-3.
Stuart contributed the only other points during the second quarter. Lady Trojan Morgan Bradford knocked down a deep 3-pointer as Franklin South extended its already large lead to 28-11 at the half.
WCMS left the floor at the half in disbelief and the Lady Pioneer coaches hoped they would say the right thing to get WCMS headed back into the right direction.
The Lady Pioneers came out rejuvenated and looked as though they were on a mission. WCMS started to play with more desire and passion in the opening minutes of the second half. The offense went to work on the inside and Stuart again picked up a pair of open looks underneath.
Pennington shot 2-of-2 from the charity-stripe and Kinsley Lorance dropped in her first two points.
The Lady Pioneer defense responded in the second half and their efforts held the Lady Trojans to just five points in the third. It was the lowest scoring quarter for the Lady Trojans. Holman, the game’s high scorer, had four of the Lady Trojans five points in the third.
WCMS trailed 33-20 to start the fourth and the offense went back to work and the defense suffered. For the Lady Pioneers, Savannah Cox found the bottom of the net when she stepped back behind the 3-point line and buried the open shot. Beth Vaughn went baseline and slipped past the Lady Trojan defender. She knocked down a short, pull-up jumper and Stuart added her final two points.
The Lady Trojan offense came back to life in the final period and Kylee Stevenson matched WCMS in 3-point shots when she pulled up and fired a clean hit.
The Lady Trojans started off hot and finished hot in beating WCMS.
The first home game of the season for WCMS will be Thursday, Nov. 12, with tip off scheduled for 6 p.m.
LADY TROJAN SCORING – Ashtin Holman 12, Beich Hollaway 8, Rylan Wolkonowski 6, Angela Terrant 5, Morgan Bradford 5, Macy Pittenger 4, Kylee Stevenson 3, Haley Cash 1, Chloe Nard 1
LADY PIONEER SCORING – Alora Stuart 11, Savannah Cox 5, Halle Pennington 4, Nautica Brown 3, Kinsley Lorance 3, Beth Vaughn 2