The Lady Wave knew that Friday night was important, not only for their four senior players playing in their final regular-season home game but Friday was also important for district standings.
Blocking the way of West Point’s chances for victory were the Saltillo Lady Tigers, the team which the Lady Wave defeated earlier in the season 50-48 at Saltillo.
After a promising start in the first quarter, taking an early 10-8 lead, the Lady Wave struggled with shooting during the second period and found the scored tied with Saltillo 21-21 at halftime. Fighting through adversity, West Point emerged in the second half deflating the Lady Tigers in the third period and going on to victory 47-41.
The Lady Wave went inside often during the opening quarter as Lesli Bean was a force inside for West Point against an undersized Saltillo. Bean was able to put in 4 points during the quarter, and her presence alone allowed for the Lady Wave to take different looks and enter the second quarter leading the Lady Tigers 10-8.
“Lesli has been working hard in practice and really focusing on her post moves,” commented Coach Pickens about the performance of Bean down low for West Point, “she is still learning but she has been playing really well in the past couple of games.”
West Point was unable to sustain their lead through the second quarter though as the Lady Tigers continued a run that started near the end of first period. After a seven minute 12-0 run, Saltillo had gained a 17-10 advantage midway through the second over the Lady Wave. It was Alicia Witherspoon’s basket that broke the Lady Wave drought, allowing for West Point to begin a rally. Under the guidance of Qiayon Bailey, the Lady Wave pulled even with Saltillo 19-19 with 31 seconds remaining in the first half. Exchanging buckets to close out the half, West Point and Saltillo entered into halftime level 21-21.
Bailey again was the spark for the Lady Wave as the second half began with West Point retaking the lead 23-21 after Bailey scored another basket. The Lady Wave used the early bucket to go on a 10-1 run, taking a 31-22 lead with 3:01 left in the third period. The Tigers were determined not to lose as Saltillo found a way to close down the lead from the charity stripe cutting the West Point lead to 31-26 by the end of the quarter.
In the fourth period, both teams seemed to match-up evenly as baskets were exchanged to open up the final quarter. West Point soon found a way to move on without the Lady Tigers and took a commanding 38-28 lead by the midway point of the fourth. The ten-point lead was too much for Saltillo to overcome in the short span of time remaining giving the Lady Wave the chance to finish off the contest. At the final buzzer, the Lady Wave had found their second district win 47-41 over the Lady Tigers.
With the win Friday night over Saltillo, West Point has cemented a spot third seed spot or higher in district 2 5-A. The Lady Wave, now 2-3 in district, will now turn their attention to the Lady Chargers of Oxford on Monday. The Lady Chargers are currently 3-2 and the second seed in the district following a Friday defeat to New Hope. West Point lost to Oxford handedly in the previous meeting and will hope they can be more competitive this time around. The game will take place at Oxford High School and tip-off is at six o’clock.