By Brad Fauber
WOODSTOCK -- It certainly looked like the first game of the season for both Central's and Warren County's girls basketball teams when the two faced off in an early Bull Run District matchup on Monday night.
The two teams combined for 35 turnovers, and neither side shot better than 35 percent from the floor, but it was Central that was able to hold on for the 48-41 victory.
"Definitely the heart was there. The effort was there. It's just, we're working too hard. We're working harder than we have to," Falcons coach Mallory Skarupa said. "There are a couple girls trying to do too much. We have a nice mix of young and old, but it hasn't quite come together yet. We're still working on that."
Both teams also struggled at the free throw line. Central hit 13 of 24 (54.2 percent) free throws, while the Wildcats made just 13 of 25 (52 percent).
Central's (1-0) offensive night was slightly better than the Wildcats despite turning the ball over 18 times, as the Falcons hit 18 of 53 shots (33.9 percent) from the field. Senior Katelyn Poston led Central with a game-high 26 points while also adding six rebounds, three assists and two steals.
Warren County (0-1) on the other hand, struggled to hit shots all evening. The Wildcats made just 13 of 59 shots (22 percent), including a dismal 6-for-31 mark in the first half that helped contribute to a 29-19 halftime deficit.
The Wildcats seemed to settle down in the second half and were able to cut Central's lead to six points late in the game, but Central hit some key shots in the final two minutes to hold on for the win.
"The first half we didn't quite play so well, that was obvious. The second half we actually played a lot better, I thought, than they did in certain stretches," Wildcats coach John Kelly said.
"I told them to play angry. We didn't play up to anywhere near their potential in the first half. I think we counted 11 missed layups inside the paint. You can't win like that ... It's a good learning lesson for us."
Central led from start to finish on Monday, as Poston scored a layup in the opening seconds to spark a 7-2 run for the Falcons to open the game. Warren County pulled within a point when Jordyn Beckner (team-high 15 points) hit a bucket off an assist from Alesha Adams midway through the first period, but the Falcons used a 16-4 run to build a 25-12 lead in the second quarter.
Warren County slowly chipped into the deficit throughout the second half and made things interesting in the final three minutes, as a 3-pointer by Beckner and a put-back by Adams cut the Falcons' lead to 44-38 with 2:45 remaining.
Poston hit a pair of free throws with 58 seconds remaining after Central was able to milk nearly 50 seconds off the clock during their possession, and a bucket in transition by Meredith Phillips with 41 seconds left helped Central put the game away.
Mary Wakeman had six points for Central, and Sydney Plum and Cianne Fields added five apiece for the Falcons.
Adams, who was held without a field goal until the 6:45 mark of the third quarter, finished with 10 points for Warren County. Lauren Woodrell added nine points for the Wildcats.
Contact sports writer Brad Fauber at 540-465-5137 ext. 184, or email@example.com. Follow on Twitter @BradFauberNVD