By Brad Fauber - email@example.com
QUICKSBURG -- Host Stonewall Jackson dominated every aspect of the game as it beat James Wood, 62-41, in girls basketball Monday.
The Generals (4-0) took a 5-2 lead on a 3-pointer by senior Cassie Conley with 4:33 left to play in the first quarter and never looked back, finishing the night with four players in double digits and holding the Colonels to just 19 points through the first three quarters.
"I told the girls we needed to come out intense, ready to go, just play good defense," said Conley, who led the Generals with 16 points. "On offense we reversed [the ball], ran our plays. We were relaxed and very focused, and ready to go."
After trailing 16-9 at the end of the first quarter, the Colonels (3-1) were outscored 29-10 in the second and third quarters combined.
James Wood struggled to get the ball in the paint all night as the Generals' defense consistently collapsed on the Colonels' post players whenever they touched the ball, and the Colonels seemed hesitant at times to take the open shot when the ball was kicked back outside.
The Colonels were led offensively by sophomore Brooke Nesselrodt, who finished with 15 points. Senior Miranda Moore chipped in nine points for James Wood.
James Wood coach Rhonda Slider said the Colonels' performance on Monday was the result of her team simply not being ready to play. Slider was disappointed with level of intensity with which her girls played and the failed execution of the fundamentals.
"We didn't have anybody that wanted to step up and shoot the ball," Slider said. "When you don't have a team that's shooting and you don't have anybody rebounding, that's going to hurt you."
Stonewall Jackson did well moving the ball around on offense, getting open looks underneath the basket on skip passes. Post players Keyana Phelps and Hannah Stout tallied 12 and 10 points respectively, most of those points coming in the paint.
Senior Ashlie Clar added 14 points for the Generals.
"We actually ran a lot of different [offensive sets] tonight, and I felt like it really gave us more options," Conley said. "[Having] four players in double digits [scoring] is great for us right now."
The win is fourth-consecutive victory for Stonewall Jackson to begin the season, giving the Generals some momentum heading into tonight's Shenandoah District opener at home against East Rockingham.
Generals coach Jeff Burner knows his team will need to continue playing like it did on Monday if it is going to come out on top against the defending district champions.
"This group of kids has really worked hard to get better, so I'm just hoping they get the pay-off for that," he said. "For me, the real season starts tomorrow. I'm hoping that [having some momentum] translates into us playing the way we need to play.
"We'll see what happens."