MATHISTON â€“ The familiarity of playing a rivals proved beneficial for the East Webster Lady Wolverines Tuesday night.
The Lady Wolverines were able to pick up a 48-26 victory over the Ackerman Lady Indians at its home court at the former Wood Junior College gymnasium.
â€śWe play them often, so we had an idea what was comingâ€ť East Webster coach Mandy Jewell said. â€śKnowing what was coming, we changed our offense a little bit for this game. They have a big girl and I knew they were going to try and take number 11 away, so we looked to hit some outside shots.â€ť
The Lady Wolverine that wears No. 11 is standout Quantesha Patterson, who despite Ackermanâ€™s efforts still led East Webster offensively with 16 points.
It is not uncommon that teams try and shut Patterson down, but Jewell says her team continuously works to be ready in those situations.
â€śOffensively, we have to know when to get it to Quantesha and we also have to be ready for when we cannot get it to her and have to shoot the outside shot," Jewell said. "As a team, they are getting more and more confident about shooting the outside shot.â€ť
East Webster came off the tip scoring. After almost doubling their opponentâ€™s points, the Wolverines led 15-7 after the first 8 minutes of competition.
Things did not change much in the second period of action. East Webster continued to dominate on both sides of the ball. Holding Ackerman to less than 10, the Wolverines entered the halftime break with a 27-16 lead.
The final two periods saw East Webster hold Ackerman to just 10 points combined, while the Lady Wolverines continued to demonstrate their offensive prowess by adding 21 points to their total and seal the victory.
While putting on an offensive show throughout the entire game, East Websterâ€™s defense stepped up tremendously as it held the Indians to single digits in each period.
The defensive success was welcomed by Jewell, who going into the battle tweaked her teamâ€™s defensive strategy.
â€śWe changed our defense a little bit,â€ť said Jewell. â€śWe played man-to-man instead of two-three zone. We just made some changes and although they did OK with the changes, we have some work to do on the man-to-man defense. We have only been working on it about a week, so we have to work on that before next game.â€ť
Jewell is not the only one who knows her team still has room for improvement.
Following the game, Ackerman coach Gary Beals acknowledged the strength of his teamâ€™s opponent while also pointing out just what his team has to work on heading down the stretch.
â€śThey are a pretty good team,â€ť Beals said. â€śThey got hot, have good guards and have a good inside game. You have to take two around Patterson and then she runs the floor so well. Heading forward, we have to make shots. We have to have someone to step up and make big plays.â€ť
Both teams will get little time to work on continued improvement. On Jan. 11, Ackerman travels to Madison to face St. Joseph Catholic, while a few days later East Webster welcomes Nanih Waiya to town for a Jan. 15 showdown.
East Webster 56,
MATHISTON â€“ East Websterâ€™s boysâ€™ team is not one to be out-done by their female counterparts.
Shortly following the completion of the Lady Wolverines game, the East Webster boys took the court for a tight showdown with Ackerman.
Though his team walked away with the victory, East Webster coach Corey Stidham knows in the future his team has got to work on finishing games.
â€śFor the most part, we handled the pressure well, but we have got to be able to close the game when we get the chance,â€ť Stidham said. â€śWe donâ€™t get many opportunities to put teams away so we have to be able to when we get the chance. Against good basketball teams, you have to watch it, sometimes they will come back and get you. We let them hang around too long tonight.â€ť
Both teams came out of the gates shooting and after the first 8 minutes of play, the pair was separated by five as the Wolverines held a 13-8 lead.
Second period action did not separate the teams any further. East Webster posted 16, while Ackerman scored 11 during its moments of possession.
As the two teams headed to the locker rooms, Ackerman clung to a 10-point lead with the score standing 29-19.
The Wolverines and Indians were about as evenly matched as two teams could be during the third period. Though the periodâ€™s scoring was only separated by one, that one point made the difference as East Webster extended its lead to 11 with a score of 40-29.
Ackerman outscored the Wolverines for the first time all night during the final period, but even after posting 19 points, the Indians were not able to chip enough off the Wolverine lead.
Malik Jones led the Wolverines with 16, followed closely by Samuel Butler with 12. Leading the Indians offensively was Willie Miller who scored 13, while teammate Lenny Taylor was right on his heels with 12.
Ackermanâ€™s Beals said his team just went on a scoring draught.
â€śWe had the opportunity to cut it to a four or five point lead in the end, but we missed a layup with 45 seconds to go," Beals said.
Heading into the next week, Beals knows that his team just has â€śto get back in the gym and get better.â€ť
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