Triton’s varsity girls basketball team won a battle of unbeatens 47-23 at Tri-County Six 3-A Conference and Harnett County rival Western Harnett on Tuesday night.
“I felt like we did take control after maybe the first few minutes of the first quarter,” said Triton coach Wendy Simmons. “Our press was working the way it needed to and they were a little more active in boxing out and keeping them to one shot. I don’t know if we got lazy or tired in the second half when we were giving them second opportunities to score.”
Western Harnett coach Matthew Smith said the Eagles had trouble adjusting to the pace Triton set early.
“They just outran us in the very beginning,” Smith said. “We haven’t been used to that. We’re usually a pretty good team that gets up and down the court and that sideline break they were running just kind of beat us to the punch and we were slow getting back. We’re a defensive team, so our defense determines our offense. Tonight, we just were not very good defensively.”
Sophomore Abby Hood had 17 points and junior Tristan Ennis had 14 points to pace the Hawks (5-0, 3-0 TCSC).
A’Shari Watlington had six points. Carleigh Hemby had four points. Aubree Bass had three points. Anastasia McDonald had two points. Kaila Cooney had one point.
“At times we took it to the basket like we should have,” Simmons said. “Other times we chose not to do what they’ve been taught how to do. But for the most part, I felt like we did have good ball movement. We need to work a little bit more on our fast break and not throwing the ball away and knowing when we have the advantage and when we don’t.”
Freshman Shay McCantis led the Eagles (4-1, 1-1) with nine points.
Sydney Jackson had five points. Makenyia Mackey had four points. Makyia Mackey and Nadia Hurry had two points apiece. Ashanta Williams had one point.
Western jumped out to an early 5-2 lead, but Triton finished the first quarter with 13 unanswered points and led the rest of the way.
Triton also outscored Western 10-7 in the second quarter, 14-4 in the third and 8-7 in the fourth.
Late in the fourth quarter, Triton put a lineup on the floor that consisted of five freshmen: Watlington, Hemby, Bass, Anna Wilson and Virginia Pope. Simmons was pleased with the effort she saw from her young players during that stretch.
“They did play hard,” Simmons said. “The future’s bright.”
There was no varsity boys game because Triton’s varsity boys are in quarantine after a positive COVID-19 test. There was also no junior varsity girls game, because neither Triton nor Western Harnett has a JV girls team this season. Triton won the JV boys game, 52-28.
Triton is at home against nonconference rival South Johnston on Wednesday before traveling to conference foe Union Pines (4-0, 2-0) on Friday.
“I expect us to reach our goal of 10 or less turnovers, which was our goal tonight (Triton had 28 turnovers Tuesday),” Simmons said. “And I expect us to come out with the intensity that we need to and take the lead early and just keep building on it.”
Western Harnett is at conference foe Lee County (0-3, 0-2) on Friday.
“I told the girls, ‘One game is not going to determine us,’” Smith said. “‘One game is not going to make or break us.’ We’ll come in tomorrow and work harder.”