Jenna Staiti draws so much attention that even when the West Forsyth center is struggling to score—struggling to even get the ball, in fact—opposing defenses continue to send double- and triple-teams her way.
It means Staiti’s teammates get plenty of looks. On Friday night, as Staiti finished well below her season scoring average, it also meant that the rest of the Lady Wolverines needed to make some of those open shots.
Jasmine Rodriguez (14 points) and Carsen Parker (eight points) did during a third-quarter outburst and later helped salt away the final few minutes to guide West to a 47-33 win at The Horn on Friday evening.
Staiti finished with a game-high 15 points to go with 12 rebounds and eight blocked shots before fouling out late in the fourth quarter.
“Lambert did a really good job on Jenna,” West coach David May said. “She didn’t have any room to breathe [and] she took a beating for the rest of the team. It’s a little frustrating for her, but because she is who she is, the other girls get great looks. Carsen gave us a lift defensively and Jasmine was unbelievable.”
The Lady Longhorns (4-7, 1-6 Region 6-AAAAAA) used their zone defense to slow North Forsyth down and keep the Lady Raiders within striking distance several weeks ago, and the strategy worked again on Friday against West. Kylee Beecher scored seven of her team-high nine points in the first half, and Lambert trailed by only five at the break.
If not for Parker and Rodriguez, whose efforts gave West (8-2, 6-1) a 10-point lead by the time Staiti fouled out with 1:54 left to play, who knows—maybe Lambert makes a late run.
“I thought our girls did a good job there in the second half of being patient and getting the shots that we wanted,” May said. “In a low-possession game like that, you know you have to work for everything.”
West Forsyth 47, Lambert 33
West Forsyth 11 14 12 10_47
Lambert 8 12 9 4_33
West Forsyth: Staiti 15, Rodriguez 14, Carsen Parker 8, Quincy 5, Ortlip 3.
Lambert: Beecher 9, Craven 7, Cote 6, Williams 5, Rumer 4, Baker 2.