WILLIAMSTON – Kenzie Lewis was dishing. Maddie Watters was scoring.
It’s been a common theme for the Class B No. 3-ranked Williamston girls basketball team this season, and the newly-developed chemistry between the freshman-junior backcourt duo once again helped the Hornets prevail.
Williamston moved to 18-1 Tuesday night by picking up a 44-38 victory over Waverly on its home floor.
TUESDAY NIGHT HOOPS
“I just always know where she’s going to be when I’m driving,” said Lewis, a freshman point guard, who scored seven points to go with her six assists and six rebounds.
The on-the-court relationship between the guards was on display from jump Tuesday, as Watters went on a solo 11-0 run to start the game — hitting three 3-pointers in the process — and Lewis assisted on three of those buckets. Watters finished with a team-high 17 points.
“I know she’ll be back there for the kick,” Lewis continued. “It’s really easy for us to connect.”
The hot start ended up being the difference in the ball game. The Warriors (13-6) outscored Williamston, 38-33, the rest of the way after the lopsided opening, and they were able to bring the game to within five points on five occasions.
A bucket from Penn State signee Alisia Smith early in the third quarter cut the Hornets’ lead to 27-22. But back-to-back baskets from Watters and senior guard Elana Lycos pushed Williamston’s lead out to 11. Waverly rattled off a 6-0 run to cut its deficit back down to five, but Lycos scored two more buckets during a 6-2 spurt to end the quarter.
Lycos scored six of her nine points in the third.
“I felt like it was time to step up,” Lycos said. “I felt like we had to get some baskets, and I just was feeling it. I got some good passes and put the (ball) in.”
The Warriors got to within five again after back-to-back scores from senior Maya Bennett, who scored eight points, and Smith. Both teams combined for just two field goals in the final minutes.
Waverly coach John Schweitzer was pleased with the toughness his team showed following the 11-0 run to start the game. But, in the end, he believes it was too much to overcome.
“We talked about (starting fast) in the locker room,” he said. “Unfortunately, it’s a moral victory, I suppose. I’m not big on that, it’s just a player like Watters is hard to simulate in practice — until you’re guarding her and you realize that she’s going to pull it if (you give her) any space at all. We didn’t do what we wanted to do early on her. We adjusted, and I thought Evelyn Taylor went in there and did a fantastic job of guarding her through the course of the game.
“We also talked about these types of games, anytime you play a good team, it’s going to come down to a handful of possessions. Whether those are in the first quarter or fourth quarter, offensively and defensively, you just have to execute every time down the floor.”
Contact James L. Edwards III at email@example.com. Follow him on Twitter @JLEdwardsIII.