Less than a week after their victory over Windsor Forest, the Lady Wildcat basketball team continued their upward slide with a thrilling 44-42 victory over Claxton on Jan. 15 in an away game. The boys suffered a heartbreaking 50-49 loss in overtime to the Tigers.
Before the season, each coach set out a goal. Boys coach William Altman said that, win or lose, each game would be competitive. Girls coach Elizabeth Bennett said her program would be one of growth for her young team. Both of them are right on target. Although not every game is a win, both programs are something to be proud of.
In the girls game, Lady Cat Tyler Carlson scored an astounding 29 points to lead her team. Coach Elizabeth Bennett could not have been more proud of Carlson’s effort this night.
"When you see a kid like Tyler succeed, it makes it all worth it," she said. "She is constantly in the gym and practices so hard. It’s nice to see all that work pay off for her."
Bennett said it is much of the same for her other players as well.
"We’re at a good point in the season. Not just because we’re winning some games, but because we are hitting our system. Everything we’ve been working on in practice is finally coming through. We’ve been doing it all along, but now it’s clicking."
The game went back and forth and seemed to be a showdown between Carlson and Claxton’s Lacreasha Brewton, who scored 20 points.
Brewton missed a crucial goal attempt in the last remaining seconds of the game when she got boxed in by Richmond Hill players.
Lady Cat Daja Davis scored eight points while Colleen Keller scored six.
For the boys, the Cats led the entire game…until the last 30 seconds of the game when a 41-41 tie threw the game into overtime. In overtime, both teams scored numerous times until there was a 49-49 showdown. The Wildcats fouled in the last few seconds with the Tigers making the shot to defeat Richmond Hill 49-50.
Altman said the Cats could have played better in the fourth, which he called a "disastrous" quarter, and it will give the team something to work on in practice.
He also said he was banking on a win, as he still is for the two games that follow – South Effingham, which took place last night, and tonight against Bryan County. After that, he acknowledges that the competition will be a lot stiffer as they are slated to face a series of games against the toughest teams in the region next week: Liberty, Burke and BC.
In the Claxton game, Chakiris Moss led in points with 20, Sean Szad had 12, Darius Postell had 8, Xavier Owens scored 5 points, and Nathan Spill and George Greig scored 2 points each. Defense leader C.J. Bynum was out sick, which Altman said played a role in the loss.