Wins have come at a premium for the Wildcats through the first part of the girls basketball season. However, when Edgewood took the floor Friday night against Ezekiel, the Wildcats aggression proved to be the key to their 64-47 victory.
“This group does a great job of playing team basketball,” Wildcat coach Darryl Free said. “I’m proud of our post players (Friday). We wanted them to take a step forward and I thought we did that. We still have a lot of room to improve, but I thought (against Ezekiel) we took a big step forward.”
The Wildcats raced out to a 19-8 lead midway through the opening stanza paced by the play of Lindsey Brown, Emma Weldon and Madison White.
“Brown was consistent again (Friday night). She’s full of energy and never gets tired,” Free said. “We go at her speed and most of the time that’s fast — which is good. We need to get up and down the floor and move. Weldon was a great shooter for us (Friday night) and was able to hit some threes. That was a big help.”
The three led the team in scoring with double-digit point totals. Brown posted a team-high 22. Weldon added 13 and White finished the night with 11.
One of the keys, especially in the first half, for the Wildcats was their pacing and their aggression as they moved up and down the floor with the quickness and kept the temperature turned up on defense.
“We like to play fast. We know half-court sets are not our strength,” Free said. “We want to play defense first and then let that turn into offense. We pride ourselves on getting deflections and forcing turnovers. That’s the difference. With Lindsey at the helm, going as fast as she can play greatly helps us. Plus, she’s able to finish on some of those transitions at a very high level in the open court.”
The Knights, however, ended the first period on a 5-0 run thanks in part to the shooting of Courtney Townes and her trio of triples.
“In the first half, I thought offensively we played OK but we didn’t really find our grove until after halftime,” Free said. “We were able to clean some things up. They had a guard that was really hurting us in the first half. We wanted to take her out of her rhythm and affect their game and we did that.”
Edgewood did that and kept her off the scoreboard in the second half.
Janet Hinkle, who led Ezekial with 20 points, 20 points became a thorn in the Wildcats’ paw down the stretch keeping the red-clad Knights in the game.