After an 81-35 loss in district against Oxford on Friday night, the West Point Lady Wave used the past couple of days for reflection and cleaning up mistakes. On Sunday afternoon, head coach Kendall Pickens and the Lady Wave attended the Mississippi State-Ole Miss women’s basketball game and took in the collegiate action taking away valuable lessons to apply to their individual and team play.
Tuesday night West Point played absolutely great and gave the New Hope Lady Trojans everything and more.
Sitting with a 1-2 record in district, the Lady Wave were hoping to put an end to a two-game district skid which started against New Hope. West Point wanted to push the issue against New Hope and played outstanding defense. The defensive pressure forced the Lady Trojans into trouble as the Lady Wave were able to take a 25-20 lead into halftime. The Lady Wave and Lady Trojans battled hard through the whole second half, but it was New Hope that caught the break and took a narrow 46-43 victory to remain unbeaten in district 2 5-A competition.
“I hate we missed the free throws down the stretch and the missed shots as well,” said coach Pickens about the heartbreaking loss to New Hope, “I wish we would have gone down-low more as well.”
New Hope opened the scoring in the game at the 6:45 mark, taking a 2-0 lead. The Lady Trojans though found it hard to crack the West Point defensive pressure as the Lady Wave took their first lead with a Shamaya Lyles’ bucket 3-2 at the 4:41 mark in the first quarter. But it was offensive inefficiency for West Point which allowed the Lady Trojans to go on a 7-0 run in the late part of the first period. West Point’s Alexis Gates ended the New Hope run with the last points of the quarter bringing the score to 9-5 in favor of the Lady Trojans.
The Lady Wave burst out of the gates in the second quarter on an early 9-0 run to take a 14-9 hold on the game with 6:08 left in the first half. New Hope seemed to weather the storm, but West Point controlled the rhythm of the second and were able to string a 7-0 run together, taking a 21-13 lead with 2-minutes left in the half. West Point under the guidance of Qiayon Bailey and Gates never let the Lady Trojans get back closing out the half leading 25-20.
The third quarter was an absolute battle as both teams sought to get the upper-hand. New Hope heated up from beyond the three-point line using two three-pointers to outscore the Lady Wave 11-2. The scoring stretch gave the Lady Trojans a 31-27 lead midway through the third period. West Point needed a spark and got it from Hailey Dearing as she knocked a huge three-pointer with 3:05 left in the quarter. The Dearing basket gave the Lady Wave energy with 7-0 run and a 34-31 lead with 2:08 left in the third. New Hope though found the a way to tie the game 34-34 heading into the fourth quarter.
Bailey opened the fourth with a basket and regained the lead for West Point 36-34. But New Hope was able to take advantage of the double bonus using trips to the charity stripe to take a 41-36 lead midway through the quarter. The Lady Wave continued to play determined basketball and brought the game within three points with 3:51 left in the game. Even with West Point’s late push, the Lady Trojans were able to keep West Point at bay and finished out the game with a 46-43 win.
Bailey led the way for the Lady Wave Tuesday with 18 points. Also reaching double figures was Gates putting in 11 points. Lyles (9 points), Dearing (3 points), and Alicia Witherspoon (2 points).
The Lady Wave hope to carry over their performance against New Hope into Friday night’s game against the Saltillo Lady Tigers. West Point defeated the Lady Tigers in the previous meeting 50-48 and hope to do the same Friday.The game time is set to tip-off at 6 o’clock following senior night festivities.