By Dennis Atwood - firstname.lastname@example.org
FRONT ROYAL -- It took six seasons and nine games for a Warren County girls basketball team to beat cross-town rival Skyline, but the Wildcats broke the long string of losses by riding a double-digit halftime lead to a 36-25 win in a non-district matchup on Friday night.
Warren County (4-6) notched 11 points in each of the first two quarters, while the Hawks (3-9) managed only two points in the first quarter, and added only seven in the second frame.
Junior forward Alesha Adams dropped in a layup for the Wildcats, 30 seconds into the contest, and closed out the opening quarter with another layup and a 3-pointer.
Autumn Troxell and Vanessa Calevro also contributed field goals to Warren County's opening gambit. Junior guard/forward Quinn Breeden laid in the Hawks' only basket of the first quarter, at the four-minute mark.
Lauren Woodrell came off the bench to lead the Wildcats' second quarter scoring with two layups, one a put-back with one of her six offensive rebounds on the night, and a free throw.
"Like I said [after an earlier game], we have a team A and a team B," Warren County coach John Kelly said. "Team B shows up and turns the ball over like crazy. Team B showed up a little bit in the second half, and in the middle of the fourth quarter, but overall, we did much better in controlling the tempo.
"We dominated the rebounding in the first half [10-5], both offensively and defensively, and that really set a tone for us."
Skyline's offense seemed content to slowly pass the ball around the perimeter of the Wildcats zone, and took nearly as long at it did in the first quarter to get on the scoreboard, with Jenny Norman's layup coming with 4:43 on the clock.
The Hawks avoided repeating their two-point first quarter by closing out the half with a 3-pointer by Shayne Clifton, and a layup by freshman Makala Dawkins to make it 22-9.
Woodrell finished with 10 points.
"It's amazing [to beat Skyline]," Woodrell said. "Last year, we were ahead at the half and lost it in the second half. But, this year we continued all the way through, and it feels really good, after losing to [Skyline] so many times.
"We gave up five points in the last minute of the first half, and coach [Kelly] said that meant we were down five. And that we were going to get those five back, and stop the turnovers and we did."
Skyline outscored Warren County, 8-7, in each of the third and fourth quarters, but that was clearly not enough to recover from the huge first-half deficit.
Adams finished with a game-high 12 points. and game-high five steals.
Green accounted for five of the Hawks' 15 second-half points, for a co-team high seven on the night, along with Clifton.
The Hawks didn't get to the foul line until the fourth quarter, then made only four of 10 free-throw attempts, including missing the front end of two one-and-one opportunities.
The win broke the Wildcats' three-game losing streak and ended the Hawks' two-game winning streak.
"If we can play at this level, we're going to be OK," Kelly said. "Just making sure our A team shows up."
"I'm just a little flabbergasted, that we played as bad as we did tonight," Hawks coach Jim Kenney said. "It was bad all-around. I know the girls were hyped-up going against Warren County.
"It was going to happen, eventually, however, I was disappointed with our mental effort. Their height and 3-2 zone gave us some issues, not getting shots off, and couldn't make free throws. We just couldn't hit shots."