Woodland got off to a fast start against Meadowcreek and followed it up by outscoring the Lady Mustangs by 17 points at the charity line to claim its first victory of the season Friday, 66-54.
The Lady Wildcats evened their season record at 1-1 against the Mustangs, their second opponent in the Southeast Whitfield Thanksgiving Tournament. Woodland fell to Northwest Whitfield, 66-54, on Tuesday.
Woodland got its offense revved up against Meadowcreek (0-2) for its second game in a row.
“We’ve scored 120 in these two games,” coach Colman Roberts said. “We’ve had a couple of teams with that kind of offense, but it’s been a while.
“We also had very balanced scoring, with four players in double digits. The player who didn’t, Marissa [Dubose] had eight points. That’s something I’m very excited about seeing when I grab the scorebook after the game.”
Roberts said the team’s ability to get to the free throw line also has been a pleasure to watch.
“I haven’t had many teams in my 24 years in basketball who went to the line as many times as this team has,” he said. “In our scrimmage we went to the free throw line 44 times, against Northwest 44 times and against Meadowcreek 48 times.
“We’re trying to get close to the basket and penetrate more.”
Woodland pounced on Meadowcreek early, outscoring the Lady Mustangs 20-10 in the first quarter. In the second quarter, however, the frenetic pace dropped off the Bartow school tallied just eight points. Meadowcreek scored just six points in the frame, however, and Woodland was able to take a 28-16 lead into the break.
In the third period Woodland tacked on 12 points to 11 for its opponent while it brushed the nets for 26 points in the final period to 27 for the Lady Mustangs.
Scoring for Woodland were Kennedy Robinson, 17, Brooke Hummel, 11; Ayrianna Metcalf, 11; Katie Harris, 11; Dubose, 8; Carly Bucy, 4; and Aubri Branch, 4. Meadowcreek was led by A. Alexander, 19 points, and C. Fields, 14 points.
At the free throw line, Woodland was 27 of 48, a 56-percent shooting average. Meadowcreek hit 10 of 19, a 53-percent mark.
Roberts said the Lady Wildcats have learned some things about themselves from their tournament foes.
“We did a lot of good things, but we’ve got a lot to work on. Meadowcreek is very athletic and put a lot of pressure on us. We’ve played two games against two teams that put pressure on us, and that’s what we wanted in this tournament because that should help us against the teams we will face later in the year.”
One thing the Lady Wildcats want to do is play their best throughout the entire game.
“We’re trying to stay away from having a quarter or a couple of minutes where we kind of take a break,” Roberts said.
He noted Woodland scored just eight points in the second quarter. “We kind of went away from what we had been doing that got us our lead. We talked about that at halftime.”
Roberts said the Lady Wildcats were patient and hit open players early despite the pressure from Meadowcreek and that resulted in some good, easy shots. In the second quarter they tried to dribble through traps and that slowed the game down as well as stopped them from outscoring their foe by such a wide margin.
“The girls know what they need to work on,” he said.
He said the team needs to spend its time improving now. “We’ve got a long way to go, and it’s going to get tougher.”
“[Today] we will play the winner of the Dalton - Tri Cities game and I know the team we play will be well coached. We open region play against New Manchester next Friday. We need to try to get better and improve in every practice and every game we have.
“Hopefully we’ll be strong by the time Christmas break is over and in January and February. I want to be playing our best when our season is about to come to an end. We want to play well in the tournament.
“Our goal — just like it is every year — is for us to make the state playoffs. I’d really like to see them be successful and make it to the state playoffs.”
Woodland next plays today in the holiday tournament, facing the winner of the Dalton-Tri Cities game at 1 p.m. in the consolation finals.