The West Forsyth Lady Wolverines knew what had to be done to send the Region 6-AAAAAA consolation game to overtime. They simply didn’t execute.
Tied at 68 with three seconds left in regulation, Centennial’s Brianna Perry was left open just beyond the arc. With time to set her feet and get a clean shot away Perry hit a three-pointer just before the buzzer sounded—giving the Lady Knights a big 71-68 win, and the Lady Wolverines a devastating loss.
“We left the best player on the floor wide open,” said West head coach David May. “We didn’t communicate, we didn’t match up.”
Down 68-66 with 17.1 seconds remaining in the fourth, West was able to tie the game with two clutch free throws from freshman guard Abby Quincy. The Lady Wolverines had trailed through much of the contest, but some late momentum gave them a real shot at winning.
But, in the end, it would all be for naught.
While Perry’s dagger ultimately decided this game’s outcome, West would have never been in such a position if it had taken better care of the basketball.
The Lady Wolverines once again committed far too many turnovers—an all-too-common issue that’s plagued them through much of the 2013-14 season. Centennial’s full-court press wreaked havoc with the Lady Wolverines and forced an abundance of turnovers before West could reach half court.
“It’s amazing that the last two games we’ve been in these games with the amount of times we turn the ball over,” said May. “We just have to get better there.”
Not to be overlooked in West’s loss is the play of Jenna Staiti. After putting together a dominating performance a day earlier against North, she scored 36 points to go along with 24 rebounds—accounting for more than half of her team’s total offense.
Her efforts once again kept West competitive in a game against a deeper, more experienced opponent. She scored all seven of West’s second quarter points and 11 of 16 in the first half.
“Jenna played well,” said May. “She had a great first half and I think she had a great second half, too. She held us in there. They really had no one who could stop her, and we need to do a better job getting her the ball.”
For Centennial, Perry finished with 17 points, and senior Jazmine Estwick had 13. The Lady Knights’ used a far more balanced attack than the Lady Wolverines, as four players finished the day with double-digit points.
West will now have some time to decompress before the state tournament begins this weekend. While they would have preferred to head into state on a high note, May is confident in his team’s ability to put this loss behind them.
“We have two days to rest,” May said. “Our girls are resilient; our girls will bounce back. They know what’s ahead of them and they’ll be ready. We’ll get a good day of rest tomorrow, come back Thursday to prepare and be ready for [the state tournament] on Friday.”