CLARKSVILLE, Tenn. — Rossview Lady Hawks coach Justin Woods sat back in his chair in his basketball office Tuesday night, not in the least bit amused.
His team had just dispatched Station Camp by 12 points, 47-35, but considering the way it played in the first half, the victory seemed a bit hollow.
“We got smacked in the face in the second half,” Woods said. “Station Camp is a well-coached team that has a lot of pride. Why we didn’t come out in the second half with the same intensity that we started the game with, I don’t know. I think we left it in the locker room after halftime.”
Rossview (4-0) was cruising with a 20-point lead late in the first half before Station Camp slowly began to eat into that edge in the third quarter.
The Lady Hawks’ defense was suffocating, limiting Station Camp to just a single field goal in the first quarter and only three in the first half, but they were outscored by the Lady Bison 14-9 in the third quarter and 25-18 in the second half.
“We won, but I’m not happy about the way we finished that game,” Woods said. “Our focus wasn’t there and it seemed like once we got that huge lead we just sort of relaxed. It’s a learning experience though. We have a pretty veteran group but it’s good to learn these lessons early.”
After trailing 29-10 at the break, Station Camp turned up the pressure and picked up the tempo. Sydney Creager and Emilne Payne each knocked down 3-pointers as Station Camp went on an 8-1 run to close to within 14 by the end of the third quarter.
Another 8-1 spurt to start the fourth quarter had the Lady Bison within nine as Woods called a timeout to settle his team. Out of that break, Rossview would finish off Station Camp (1-3), forcing five turnovers in next seven Lady Bison possessions.
Eight Rossview players scored, led by Haylee Croom’s 13 points and six rebounds. Mickey Head finished with nine points while Grace Dickinson added six. Rossview’s depth should benefit the defending regular season District 10 champs, who are going for a fourth straight title.
“Right now we’re still looking for that right mix of players that is going to compete for four quarters,” Woods said about his team’s depth. “I like that we can rotate about 10 girls so I don’t know that we’ll whittle down the rotation as the season goes on. More than likely we’ll just find five girls each night who are focused and intense and go with that lineup.”
Point guard Karle Pace played in only her second game of the season as she continues to recover from a knee injury she suffered during last season’s district tournament. Pace, playing with a brace on that left knee, scored 14 points in her season debut Monday, but had only five Tuesday night, when she came off the bench.
“She continues to get better,” Woods said. “She still needs to get into basketball playing shape, but she’s getting there. We’ll bring her along slow for right now and let her work herself back into playing shape. I think Monday she had that (offensive) outburst because she was playing on adrenaline. (Tuesday) you could see that playing a back-to-back set of games took its toll. I think maybe it’s taken its toll on all of our girls. We’ve played four games in the past week.”
Croom and Head dominated the first half. They contributed eight of Rossview’s 12 first-quarter points, and Croom had eight points by halftime. Madison Ballance’s 3-pointer midway through the second quarter ignited a 12-1 run that saw the Lady Hawks open up a 29-10 lead at halftime.
Reach Prep writer George Robinson at 931-245-0747 and on Twitter @Cville_Sports.