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With a 64-43 win, the Williamstown Lady Demons started their season with a bang.
Playing West Jessamine, the team relied on their defense to force turnovers and create easy transition points.
“We’re changing the style of play and playing to our strength which is quickness and athleticism,” coach Mark Wilhoit said. “Overall, I’m pleased. We’re 1-0. It’s a good win for us. The players have looked forward to playing someone other than each other.”
Jaclyn Stith led Williamstown with 23 points, along with snagging nine rebounds. She started the game off with two jumpers for an early lead. Tori Wilhoit followed Stith’s lead and put the Lady Demons up 6-0 with a layup, forcing West Jessamine’s coach to call an early timeout to settle his team.
The timeout didn’t help as Williamstown kept pressuring West Jessamine’s players, which led to turnovers and points for Williamstown. The Lady Demons ended the first quarter leading 28-8.
“We did really well passing the ball,” Stith said. “We need to focus on blocking out, but it wasn’t that bad at the pace we played. We are really unselfish.”
Williamstown kept the pressure on in the second quarter, relying on timely shooting from Chelsea West to build 44-20 lead as the first half ended.
The game slowed down in the second half, with both teams ratcheting up the physicality, but the Lady Demons kept adding to their lead, taking a score of 54-27 into the final quarter.
With their huge lead, coach Wilhoit was able to rotate a lot of players, giving them game experience early in the season. Unfortunately, Williamstown started to turn the ball over, giving West Jessamine the opportunity to close the gap, but they never threatened as Williamstown earned their first win.
“It’s pretty dang nice,” Tori Wilhoit said. “It’s a really good way to start the season with our heads held high. It’s exciting. We’ll have energy going into our game against Owen County (on Dec. 5). We set the tempo for the game so we could keep getting fast break points. In previous years, we’d dig ourselves a hole and then give up or come back in the second half. It helped not to be in that position and be able to play our game and not panic.”
“We were able to come out, push the ball and attack the basket in the first quarter,” coach Wilhoit said. “We built a lead. Sometimes, you get complacent. I don’t feel like we played up to our potential in the second half. As a coach, I always look at the negative and you see what you need to work on. But overall, I’m very satisfied.”
The Lady Demons hope to carry their success against West Jessamine into the rest of the season, as they hope to build on the win.
“We need to take the excitement of this game and build on it so we can reach all of our goals this season,” Tori Wilhoit said.
“Hopefully, we’ll look at how well we pushed the ball against this team and keep going up,” Stith said.
West scored 11 points, senior Melissa Snow scored 10 points and Wilhoit scored nine points and brought down 16 rebounds, tying a school record that she already owned.
“It’s a great way to start the season,” Tori Wilhoit said. “I didn’t think I had that many, but it sets the bar high for the rest of the season.”