Warriors end skid, roll past Washington

STEPHENS CITY — Sherando’s girls basketball team got back on track in a big way against visiting Washington (West Virginia) on Tuesday evening.

The Warriors, losers of two straight to start the season, got a spark from their defense early against the Patriots, and Sherando was off and running en route to an 82-21 blowout victory.

Sherando forced 49 turnovers in the win, many of which turned into fast-break baskets on the opposite end.

“We just came to play our style of basketball, and we hadn’t played it the first two games,” Warriors head coach Mike Marsh said. “We’d been really kind of lackadaisical. Tonight we were a lot more aggressive. That was the thing we talked about. We really talked about having maximum effort tonight on both ends of the floor. And we did.”

Sherando (1-2) jumped on the overmatched Patriots from the start, as the Warriors used a full-court zone press to force 16 turnovers in the first period on the way to building a comfortable 19-2 lead. The Warriors held Washington without a field goal in the period after Patriots senior Mackenzie Littleton knocked down a deep jumper 20 seconds into the game.

“The last two games our defense wasn’t that good so for us coming out and playing defense really well, that was good,” said Warriors senior Heidi Brown, who scored 11 points in the first period and finished with a career-high 30 points in the win.

“Everyone was up, so everybody was just feeding off each other’s energy.”

The Warriors backed off of the full-court pressure in the second period but continued to roll, taking a 35-8 lead into halftime. Things only got worse from there for Washington.

Sherando — which finished with 31 steals in the win — swiped 14 steals in the third period alone and outscored the Patriots 34-4 in the frame.

Warriors sophomore Davina Lane finished with 11 steals in the game to lead Sherando, while Erin Magalis had nine steals and Brown five.

“I feel like we executed really well on defense. We normally do that, but I feel like we got a lot of steals tonight,” said Lane, who also had 18 points.

“We were just rotating to the right places and getting to the openings.”

The Warriors opened the second half with a 16-2 scoring run in a span of only three minutes, as Sherando turned six Washington turnovers — all steals — into six baskets in transition during the outburst.

Brown and Lane did most of the damage for the Warriors in the third period, as the duo combined for 24 points, but Sherando demonstrated some unselfish play in its transition game that had Marsh beaming afterwards.

“We really shared the ball well,” Marsh said. “We had kids who were wide open for shots, but also other kids who were trailing. We passed the ball, gave them a better opportunity for kids to score. I thought we did a real good job tonight with assists. I know we had more assists tonight than we probably had not in just the first two games, but probably half the games last season put together.”

Marsh opted to rest most of his starters for the entirety of the fourth period, and 10 different Warriors ended up scoring points in the win.

Sherando — which attempted 87 shots — shot 39.1 percent (34 for 87) from the field while holding the Patriots to just a 27.8-percent (10 for 36) mark.

“We missed some easy shots. We missed a couple layups, some things we’ve got to work on still, but we’re better and that’s the thing,” Marsh said. “Plus, getting that first win, no matter what, is kind of important. It kind of gets them a little more relaxed, so I think we’ll be OK.”

Tyra Payton led Washington with eight points, while Littleton chipped in six for the Patriots.

Contact staff writer Brad Fauber at 540-465-5137 ext. 161, or bfauber@nvdaily.com