Second-half spurt lifts â€™Cats
Whitko senior Nicole Slaymaker battles for a rebound with West Nobleâ€™s Maddy Baczynski Thursday night. The Lady Wildcats rallied from a four-point halftime deficit to out score the Chargers 30-9 in the second half. Post & Mail photo / Nicole Ott
LIGONIER — The Lady Wildcats knew that in order to win against West Noble, they had to shut down two players. And that they did.
Thursday, a road trip for Whitko girls’ basketball had the ’Cats taking down the Lady Chargers on their home court 51-34.
The Lady ’Cats knew they had to adjust their defense to the talent of West Noble’s Haley Richardson and Ashley Shepherd.
“We really tried to focus on them,” Whitko head coach Rob Bell said.
Despite the preparation, Shepherd and Richardson combined for 16 of West Noble’s 25 points in the first half.
Shepherd had four three-pointers in the half to give West Noble a 25-21 lead at the break.
Going into the second half with a four-point deficit, Whitko made some adjustments to its defense.
“At halftime we refocused, we had to know where she was at,” Bell said.
Though Shepherd and Richardson scored a majority of the Lady Chargers first- half points, Richardson was scoreless for the remainder of the game and Shepherd had only three points.
“Rachelle Kessie took that challenge to go against her (Richardson),” Bell said, “She’s our teams leader, and she stepped up and played like it tonight.”
Kessie had 12 points and 16 rebounds in the Wildcats second half scoring rally. Whitko out scored West Noble 30-9 in the final two quarters of play.
Junior Karissa Olinske knocked down eight of her team-high 14 points in the fourth quarter including her third three-pointer of the night.
Point guard Micaela Sylvester was another big part of the second half rally scoring eight of her 10 points in the last 16 minutes.
Though Whitko went through a rough spell, Thursday night’s game showed improvement.
“We talked and pulled together in the last couple days, we had a lot of fun and that’s what we need to do,” Bell said.
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