West Side post player Gracie Waters controlled the paint on Tuesday, finishing with a game-high 13 points while grabbing six rebounds and blocking five shots as the Junior Lady Eagles defeated White County Central 34-25 in Greers Ferry.
West Side Coach Shane Davis said his team overcame a sluggish offensive performance. The Jr. Lady Eagles finished 15 of 43 from the field.
“This was not one of our better showings offensively. But we made up for it on the defensive end. Our intensity was good all night and we caused 23 turnovers and the rebounding was pretty good also.
“We only gave up six offensive rebounds. We have to get better in the shooting department. We've shot 29 of 94 in the last two games, but that is a lot more fixable than defensive intensity and rebounding,” added Davis.
Tied at 8-all, West Side closed the first quarter with four straight as point guard Emily Southerland slashed down left baseline for a layup then forward Ashley Gentry drove coast-to-coast for a layup and a 12-8 lead entering the second quarter.
WCC forward Ashley Malner opened the second quarter with a 17-foot jumper from left elbow but West Side countered with a 7-0 spurt, sparked by post player Bryanna Smith, who notched a rebound bucket.
Waters followed with two straight buckets, including one off an assist from Southerland and Gentry added a free throw, pushing West Side's lead to 19-10 with 1:55 left until halftime.
Malner flipped an offensive rebound into a bucket and guard Shawnee Williams canned a free throw for WCC, pulling the Junior Lady Bears within six at 19-13 at halftime.
Holding a 21-15 lead with 2:27 left in the third quarter, West Side seemingly took command by closing the period with a 7-0 spurt, ignited by Waters, who hit a turnaround bank shot from right side while drawing contact.
After Waters completed the three-point play, Southerland drove right baseline for a layup and Waters scored in transition off an assist from Gentry, giving the Jr. Lady Eagles a 28-15 lead entering the final six minutes of play.
WCC came out with a lot of fight in the fourth quarter, scoring seven straight, including consecutive buckets from Malner that suddenly trimmed West Side's lead to 28-22 with 2:34 remaining.
Following a timeout, the Jr. Lady Eagles (4-3) put the game out of reach with four straight as Smith dropped a runner in the lane and forward Sydnee Phillips scored from right block.
West Side's Junior Girls return to action on Wednesday versus Quitman in the Guy-Perkins Invitational Tournament.