The regular season is wrapping up, but there are still rivalry games left to be played. Sandy Creek and Whitewater split on the Patriots’ home court Tuesday night.
The Lady Wildcats prevailed in a defensive battle, 34-21. Faced with a fierce effort from Sandy Creek, they had to find a way to grit out the win.
“You’ve got to win ugly every once in a while,” said coach Rashad Muhyee. “We didn’t make our free throws. We turned the ball over. You’ve still got to win when you’re not playing well.”
There were mixed results in their effort.
“Defensively, again, they did what they were supposed to do,” said Muhyee. “I’m pleased defensively. Offensively, I didn’t think we were there mentally.”
The Cats know they have to play better with a big rematch against Fayette County looming.
“We don’t have a choice. We have to be sharper (against Fayette),” said Muhyee. “If we want a shot at going into the region tournament with a number one seed, we have to be better.”
It was a very strong effort from Sandy Creek. They were especially stingy on the defensive end, limiting a strong Whitewater team to just 34. A young team that has battled injuries is showing signs of jelling. The sophomore-heavy team should have a bright future if they continue to blossom under coach Shon Dodson.
The first quarter was all Whitewater, as the Wildcats built a 12-2 lead. Jada Coggins carried the lead early with seven points in the frame. Sandy Creek got their first bucket on a feed from Brianna Baitey to Taylor Borum.
The Patriots built up some momentum in the second quarter with a three from Domonique Fuller and a turnaround jumper by Logan Bolton as they headed into halftime down 20-9.
As Sandy Creek kept trying to slice away at the defecit, the Wildcats did enough to keep their cushion. Jordan Barnett’s layup kept Whitewater in front 28-14 after the third.
Madison Mueller came through with a key putback to keep the Wildcats ahead by 14 points late. An Amara Owoh basket was the final tally for Sandy Creek.
Jada Coggins led all scorers with 17 points, followed by Jordan Barnett with 12.
Brianna Baitey led the Patriots with 10 points, six rebounds, and four assists.
The Sandy Creek boys showed they are locked in and ready to dominate, stifling Whitewater for a 60-38 victory.
Whitewater grabbed the game’s first lead on a Garrett Watkins three to open the scoring. By the time Javon Jackson responded with his own trey, the Patriots would be in front and would not trail again. Victor Ayuk kept the game close with another Cat three, but the Patriots were not about to be denied. They finished the first quarter with an 11-3 run for a 19-9 advantage.
The second quarter was more of the same as they outscored Whitewater 18-8. Elias Harden had the play of the frame, sinking a trey while being fouled and added the following free throw for a four-point play and a 13-point lead. Along with some steady work in the paint from Evan Jester and Januari Smith, Harden helped the Patriots out to a 37-17 halftime lead.
The gap widened to 25 points by the end of the third quarter. Christian Turner kept driving to the lane and kicking out to the wings as the Patriots pulled away. Myles Jenkins joined the fun with a steal and coast-to-coast layup, then Turner hit from downtown. AJ Freeman and Jahqueese Griffin closed out the win with three-pointers in the 60-38 rout.
Evan Jester led the Patriots with 15.