By Tommy Keeler Jr.
STEPHENS CITY --It was simply a matter of time.
In the first half Sherando's shots weren't falling, but once they did in the second half that was all the Warriors needed. Sherando pulled away for a 58-34 Northwestern District girls basketball victory over Handley on Friday night.
"We practice really hard on shooting, but sometimes in games our shots just won't fall," Sherando junior Heidi Brown said of the Warriors slow start. "In the last two quarters they started to fall."
Both teams struggled in the first half. Sherando shot only 25 percent (7-for-28) from the field.
Handley (1-8, 0-1 Northwestern) turned the ball over 16 times, but the Warriors weren't able to capitalize on many of them.
Sherando's Jess Hakel had four points early to help the Warriors take a 6-4 lead with 4:54 left in the first period. The Warriors were able to extend the lead to 11-6 after the first eight minutes.
The Judges pulled to within 14-12 on a free throw by Hannah Long with 2:07 left in the first half.
Sherando (9-4, 2-1 Northwestern) finished the first half on a 6-1 run for a 20-13 halftime lead.
Davina Lane had four points during Sherando's run, and both baskets came off of steals.
"Davina is able to get some steals for us," Sherando coach Mike Marsh said. "She plays defense really well, and really helps out."
Brown helped break the game open early in the third period. The junior hit two 3-pointers and scored a basket inside during a 12-2 run for the Warriors.
"I knew the game was really close. I knew somebody had to step up and make some plays," Brown said.
The Judges were able to cut he lead to 32-22 on a layup by Alysandra Worrell with 3:08 left in the third period.
The Warriors closed the period Sherando went 7-for-16 in the period. Lane helped put the game completely out of reach to start the fourth period with back-to-back layups to help extend the lead to 48-25.
Worrell led the Judges with a game-high 21 points. The Judges had 29 turnovers.
Lane led the Warriors with 14 points, while Brown had 13 and Hakel 11.
"It was a big win," Brown said. "It's nice to beat a rival and makes our district record better. It gives us some confidence going into the James Wood game [on Monday]."
Contact Assistant Sports Editor Tommy Keeler at 540-465-5137 ext. 168, or firstname.lastname@example.org Follow on Twitter @tkeelernvd