Breanna Mobley and Alisia Smith combined for 39 points as they helped lead Waverly to a 51-40 victory over East Lansing at Waverly High School on Friday night.
The Warriors (2-0) got out to a 14-3 lead to start the game, a run which was spearheaded by the persistence of Mobley and Smith in the paint.
“If Bre’ wasn’t going to do it, then I was going to do it,” Smith said. “We just took the high-low, and played together.”
The Trojans (1-1), who start three freshmen, were able to dig themselves out of their hole as the first quarter came to a close. East Lansing went on a 9-2 run — cutting the deficit to 16-12 — which was led by freshmen Aazh Nye and Amelia McNutt. The young backcourt duo scored all nine points during that span.
“The freshmen have more chemistry together, right now, because we’re the youngest,” Nye said. “We work harder together, and we try to pick our team up and the tenacity up.”
After a fast start, Waverly only took a four-point lead into the half. However, the Warriors picked up the intensity to start the third quarter, and it was Kalay Carter’s contributions that helped Waverly extend its lead out to nine.
The senior scored five of her seven points in the third quarter.
“Everybody knows we have Breanna Mobley,” Warriors coach T.J. Hawkins said. “I need the other girls on the team to play to their potential, and give me what they have.
“That will make us a complete team. We aren’t going to be able to go out every night and give Mobley the ball. We need other people like Smith, (Shadaira) McCarty, and Carter to step up to the challenge.”
East Lansing was able to battle back at the end of third quarter and cut the Warriors’ lead back down to four. But in the game’s final eight minutes, the inexperience of the Trojans began to show as the fouls and turnovers began to increase.
Waverly spent much of the fourth quarter at the charity stripe.
“We fouled 25 times, I think, a game in the past two games and we turn the ball over too much,” East Lansing coach Rob Smith said. “But that’s all stuff that a coach would expect with a group like this at this point in the season against a veteran team.
“They showed signs where, my gosh, if they could do this for 32 minutes we would win the game. I thought we worked hard, we just didn’t work smart.”