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It didn’t come easy, but the Wilson Prep varsity girls basketball team avenged its sole loss of the 2018-19 season to date with a 39-36 victory over visiting Cary Academy on Wednesday night.
Wilson Prep, now 15-1 overall, struggled at the outset, committing 10 turnovers in the opening quarter and battled mightily to put the ball in the basket against Cary Academy’s (6-13) half-court defense when it was set, instead using transition to get easy baskets.
By the time the fourth quarter arrived, the Lady Tigers led by just one, prompting a fire-and-brimstone chat from first-year head coach Ashley Banks.
“I had to set the fire to them,” Banks said. “Only because we started getting relaxed. We were up quite a bit, and we wanted to relax, and I tell them, a good team will beat us when we do that. We can’t relax, and sometimes I feel like we’re just not a third-quarter type of team.”
Wilson Prep held a 13-point lead in the third quarter, but saw the margin dip to just one against a Lady Chargers team that struggled to score throughout. Missed layups were prevalent from Cary Academy, a member of the North Carolina Independent Schools Athletic Association 4-A Triangle Conference.
But with WPA leading 31-30, junior Trinity Mobley, not enjoying her best floor game, came down and hit a 3-pointer to give the Lady Tigers a four-point lead with 2:18 to go. Mobley, referred to by Banks as “the rubber that meets the road,” led the way with 15 points.
“It felt really good,” Mobley said. “Even though we didn’t play our best, it felt really good to beat the team that we lost to (44-38 in the season opener) the first time.”
Cary Academy missed a 3-pointer to tie and missed a layup that would have cut the game to a single possession.
Senior Jadore Lucas-Barnes, who finished with 11 points, hit two free throws and dropped in a layup to make it an eight-point margin before the Lady Chargers rallied for cosmetic purposes late.
Wilson Prep survived an atrocious display at the free-throw line, making just 9 of its 29 attempts.
“Free throws is a lot of pressure,” Banks said. “I don’t think my girls like a lot of pressure. But we’ve been doing extra things, putting up extra shots — 100 shots a day — getting extra time in the gym shooting free throws.”
CARY ACADEMY (36)
McMahon 4, Matejowsky 2, Pompeo 9, Lipson 3, Jett 7, Rosenbaum, Edwards 9, Ogundipe 2.
WILSON PREP (39)
Mobley 15, Watkins 2, Robinson 5, Waddell, Lucas-Barnes 11, Ainstead 6.
Score by quarters:
Cary Academy 8 4 12 12 — 36
Wilson Prep 4 17 4 14 — 39