Strong second quarter lifts Washington & Lee over Lady Panthers in home opener
After a winless 2017-2018 campaign, Charles City’s Lady Panthers basketball team looked to open the home slate with a win. But the hosts will have to wait another day to find the win column as a big second quarter run by the visiting Washington & Lee Lady Eagles put the game out of reach.
Lady Eagle Makaila Veney scored 16 points as the visitors outscored Charles City 22-9 in the second frame en route to a 54-34 victory during Friday night’s basketball contest.
Utilizing their size, the Lady Eagles went inside to the 6’0” Veney who pumped in a basket and free throw to jump out to a 5-0 advantage. Charles City’s first points came on Skye Bradby’s three-pointer from the wing. Free throws between both teams resulted in Washington & Lee with a 9-5 advantage after the first quarter.
Alexis Williams’ trifecta from the top of the key brought the hosts within one (9-8) at the start of the quarter. After Veney found the bottom of the net once again, Lady Panther freshman Naveah Charity converted a jump shot to cut the lead to one again (11-10) for the visitors. Veney sank three of the next four free throws to stretch the lead to six before the Lady Eagles launched a 2-2-1 full court press. The ploy worked, resulting in a 10-1 run for the visitors and lifting them to a 31-14 halftime advantage.
Another Bradby three to start the third quarter cut the margin back down to 14 (31-17), but Washington & Lee’s Taliyah Ball scored the next eight points for her team, pushing the game out of reach.
After spending a year heading the boys’ program, Lady Panther head coach VaShaun Otey returned for his seventh season, praising his team for their effort.
“In this game we played more as a unit,” he said, pointing to upsetting losses at Southampton and Rappahannock earlier in the week. “Something just clicked with them and they started playing together.
“The big change we made was getting in better defensive positioning in the second half,” Otey continued, pointing to foul troubles that saw four of his seven players foul out of the contest. “We gave up a whole lot of offensive rebounds, but we looked a lot better tonight.”
Williams’ 16 points led the Lady Panthers, who are now 0-3 to start the season. Bradby dropped in nine points on all three-pointers, Trine Wittkopf added four, Cheyenne Marshall added three points, and Charity tossed in two to round out the scoring.