GALLATIN Station Camp High and Gallatin High’s girls basketball teams were on track to have a tight finish before the visiting Lady Wave suddenly went as cold as the temperature outside.
Gallatin went scoreless for 7:55 in the second half, and the Lady Bison took advantage, pulling away for a 59-44 victory on Tuesday evening.
Station Camp led 43-38 after Gallatin senior forward Grayson Pryor made one of two free throws with 4:14 remaining in the third quarter. However, the Lady Wave did not score again until junior Katie Whitefield made two free throws with 4:19 left in the contest. At that point, a five-point deficit had swelled to 14 (54-40).
“At halftime, I told them that we needed to play Station Camp basketball,” Lady Bison interim head coach Jill Gregory said. “We were out of control in the first half, up and down, up and down. We like to play up and down, but a controlled up and down.”
The Lady Wave’s field-goal drought was even longer. Pryor hit a 3-pointer with 4:45 left in the third quarter, and Gallatin failed to convert on another field-goal attempt until junior Tiera McDermott connected with 1:07 remaining in the game, covering a span of 11:38.
“We were right in the game, but we just couldn’t put together four quarters again,” Gallatin first-year head coach Malcolm Montgomery said. “There was a six to eight-minute stretch where we just didn’t play real well on offense, and (Station Camp) shot the ball really well.”
Gallatin (5-11 overall, 0-7 in District 9-AAA) never led, but the Lady Wave kept the deficit within eight points for the entire first half, trimming the Lady Bison lead to three (31-28) when junior point guard Rene’ Hudson completed a three-point play with 19.6 seconds left in the second quarter.
“We just talked about how it was Gallatin and how we just needed to come out and work our hardest – rebound, play defense and pass the ball,” Lady Bison sophomore point guard Jane Deason said. “Those were really big things.”
Deason led the Lady Bison (8-12, 3-4) with 14 points, including a pair of 3-pointers.
“We really, in the second half, just started to pass the ball,” Deason said. “A lot of times this season, we just do what we want to do, and it doesn’t work out unless we pass the ball and run our plays.”
Station Camp shot 75 percent (21 of 28) from the free-throw line.
“We’ve been stressing that – the free throws – in practice and making sure that we understand that it’s crucial in a game,” Gregory said. “Free throws are freebies. You’ve got to hit them. Tonight was probably our best night with free throws.”
Montgomery added, “It came down to (Station Camp) hitting free throws and making some big threes. That kind of stretched the lead out. At the end we were kind of scrambling, trying to come back, and we gave up some easy baskets.”
Pryor and Hudson finished with 12 points each, despite Hudson being held scoreless in the first quarter. Pryor hit two of Gallatin’s four 3-pointers.
“I think we’re really playing a lot better,” Montgomery said. “But the reality of it is we’ve got to get out of that eighth spot (in the district standings), because the eighth spot probably has to play Wilson Central … and maybe seven might have to play Mt. Juliet, so we’ve got to try to get to down to the sixth spot.
“But this year, we just want to build, see them play hard and see improvement … and I am seeing improvement.”
The two teams meet again at Gallatin on Feb. 12.
Gallatin hosts Portland on Friday, while Station Camp hosts Beech.
Reach Chris Brooks at firstname.lastname@example.org or at 615-575-7118. Follow him on Twitter @CB_SumnerSports.
GALLATIN (44) – Rene Hudson 12, Grayson Pryor 12, Katie Whitefield 6, Savannah Link 5, Tiera McDermott 4, Keile Hale 2, Sha’Mari Johnson 2, Anastasia Blakemore 1.
STATION CAMP (59) – Jane Deason 14, Laprasia Ward 9, Jessica Hopson 8, Emiline Payne 8, Olivia Delk 7, Carolyn Fitch 5, Cassidy Fry 5, Sydney Creager 3.
Half: 34-31, Station Camp. Three-point goals: Gallatin 4 (Pryor 2, Hudson 1, Link 1), Station Camp 6 (Deason 2, Creager 1, Fitch 1, Fry 1, Hopson 1). Records: Gallatin 5-11 overall, 0-7 in District 9-AAA; Station Camp 8-12, 3-4.