Triton’s varsity girls basketball team finished off a season sweep of rival South Johnston with a 61-37 win over the visiting Trojans on Wednesday night to stay unbeaten on the season.
Triton coach Wendy Simmons thought the Hawks saw improvement from their game the previous night at Western Harnett.
“Definitely the turnovers were better,” Simmons said. “We cut that by 16. We had 12 tonight, compared to 28. So, that was good to see. It seemed like the second half we were a little sluggish on defense in the fourth quarter and kind of gave them some easy shots.”
South Johnston coach Whitney Williams said the Trojans are still trying to find consistency.
“It’s just not coming together for us,” Williams said. “They execute things well here and there. But we can’t seem to put every piece of the puzzle together. We play offense good for one minute and then we don’t get back on defense. We play defense and then make a turnover and so forth. Just trying to put all the pieces together seems to take a little bit longer than it should.”
Sophomore Abby Hood had a double-double, with 16 points, 10 rebounds, four assists and four steals, senior Kaila Cooney had 13 points, four rebounds, eight assists and four steals and junior Tristan Ennis had 13 points and four rebounds to lead the Hawks (7-0).
Simmons said Cooney’s shooting from the perimeter in the first half helped create opportunities in the paint for Hood and Ennis in the second half.
“That’s what we keep trying to tell them: We’ve got to work inside-out,” Simmons said. “If we hit on the outside, that may open up the inside. If we hit on the inside, they’ll collapse there and we can have outside shots. It was really nice to see Kaila score for us.”
A’Shari Watlington had eight points, five rebounds, three assists and three steals. Anastasia McDonald had seven points. Aubree Bass had four points and four assists.
Simmons has been pleased with the play of her three starting guards, Anastasia McDonald, Cooney and Watlington.
“I feel like I have three guards out there that look for the open person and are able to get it to them,” Simmons said.
Junior Kennedy Byrd led the Trojans (0-7) with 15 points.
“Last night and tonight, Kennedy’s stepping up,” Williams said. “She’s taking the shots.”
Janay McDonald had six points. Caroline Tucker, Diana Boykin and Jordyn Brown had four points apiece. Diamond Judkins and Meagan Worley had two points apiece.
“I think they worked hard,” Williams said. “I think the biggest thing is just to finish. I think Jordyn, Diana and Caroline got a lot of good looks down here in the paint and around the basket. But they just were not finishing. We’re getting there, we’ve just got to put it in the goal.”
Triton outscored South in all four quarters: 16-7 in the first, 17-12 in the second, 13-9 in the third and 15-9 in the fourth.
South Johnston held off Triton 44-40 in the junior varsity boys game.
South Johnston is at home against Greater Neuse 3-A Conference foe East Wake (0-6, 0-3 GNC) on Friday.
“I think the biggest thing for East Wake is just we need to play our game, not theirs,” Williams said. “Play our pace. Don’t play their pace. And work on turnovers, of course, and rebounding.”
Triton travels to Tri-County Six 3-A Conference opponent Union Pines (4-0, 2-0 TCSC) for a battle of unbeatens on Friday.
“I think the girls will be ready,” Simmons said. “Hopefully we’ll have a good practice tomorrow. Go over some things. Walk through some things. Talk about what we need to do. We’ll look at some game film tonight. Just be ready.”