STAUNTON – After enduring a tough first half Friday against Robert E. Lee, Wilson Memorial’s girls basketball team needed a reset.
Enter Sarah Sondrol, who scored 10 of her game-high 18 points in the third quarter as the Green Hornets posted a 50-42 victory over the Lee Ladies in nonconference action in the Paul Hatcher Gym.
Wilson (4-1), which is now on a three-game win streak, fell victim to a chilly start from the floor and Lee’s chaotic zone defense to lead 23-15 at the half. When they got to the locker room, the Hornets decided it was their turn to dictate the pace.
“Lee is tough to play against because they have some size and speed,” Sondrol said. “We knew we had to come out stronger and move the ball around, and run the floor more.”
The Hornets came out for the third quarter and did exactly that.
Bailey Cullen, who finished with eight points, got it started with a fast-break layup, then hit a jumper from the top of the key to put Wilson up 27-18. After that, Sondrol took over and scored Wilson’s last 10 points of the quarter to push the lead to 37-21 with 2:41 left in the quarter.
Also part of the reset for the Hornets was tightening the defense to keep Lee at a distance.
“They had some momentum there at the end of the second quarter and we wanted to squelch that,” Wilson coach Jackie Bryan said.
But the Hornets took their foot off the gas with the big lead, Bryan said, and that gave the Lee Ladies an opening. They responded with seven straight points — thanks to a 3-pointer by Samantha Glick and a pair of layups by Kemper Snyder—to cut the deficit to 37-28 going into the fourth quarter.
“The season’s young and this team is young,” Bryan said. “They got up by 17 and they relaxed a little and that gave [the Lee Ladies] and opening.”
Wilson restored a little order with a 10-4 run, sparked by four each from Sondrol and Cheridan Hatfield, who also scored eight points, to go up 47-34 midway thought the fourth. But Lee, fueled by four points from Elizabeth Snyder, battled back and got within 50-42 with 1:08 left, but that would be as close as they’d get.
As chilly as Wilson was in the first half, the Lee Ladies were ice cold early on, not scoring a basket until there were 4.3 seconds left in the first quarter.
“That’s kind of the way it’s gone so far,” said Lee coach Josh McElheny. “We’ve had slow starts and then we’ve had spurts. There are times when we look like we know what we’re doing and there are times I don’t know which five are on the court.”
Going 17-for-30 from the free-throw line didn’t help the Lee Ladies’ cause. either.
“As sloppy as it was at times, we were only eight points away,” McElheny said. “But when you miss 13 free throws, it makes a difference. We were only a couple of buckets away from keeping it close.”