Centaurs pg 9 1-4-18

There were a lot of things that The Woodstock Academy girls’ basketball team could have done better Dec. 29 in the championship game of the Centaur Holiday Classic girls’ basketball tournament at the Alumni Fieldhouse.
But Woodstock Academy coach Will Fleeton doubted whether it would have changed the outcome after his Centaurs fell to E.O. Smith, 55-39.
“I think they’re a good team and this game, clearly showed to me, that they are the better team,” said Fleeton. “We missed some shots early, lots of things we could have done differently, but their motor kept running, looked consistent and they stayed on top of us.”
The Panthers only led, 12-11, after the first quarter, but gradually pulled away in the second.
The Most Outstanding Player of the tournament, Kaleigh Dale, scored six points of her game-high 19 points in the final 3 minutes, 47 seconds of the first half when E.O. Smith (6-1) went on a 13-5 run to extend a two-point lead to 10 at the break.
Dale didn’t lose the touch in the locker room as she returned to score six more in a 13-3 run to open the second half and give the Panthers a 20-point lead.
“Once they got the lead, they got into their motion offense. They don’t force shots, they take time and the clock is ticking which put more pressure on us to try and come back. In high school sports, that makes you start to fret and scramble, and do things that only make things worse,” Fleeton said.
The Centaurs (4-2) never got closer than 12 the remainder of the way.
But while Fleeton’s team may have fretted a bit on the court, he wasn’t fretting off of it. He hoped the Centaurs could turn the loss into a positive.
“I wish we played every game against a team like this,” Fleeton said. “I think this tournament was good all the way around. We had quality competition and that is what we’re looking for.”
The Centaurs opened the tournament with a 48-40 win over Windsor in the first round.
The Warriors were the antithesis of the disciplined Panthers.
Windsor had one thing on its mind - force the tempo.
The way Kendrick Moore coaches his Warrior girls basketball team, it’s almost like watching a hockey team on the hardwood. Moore likes line changes; five in, five out.
It didn’t work early on against the Centaurs. Jamie Woods scored 11 of her 21 points in the first quarter to help the Centaurs take a 15-6 first quarter lead.
She was also a terror off the boards. “She’s truly a post player minus the size,” Fleeton said. “She shoots it well over both shoulders. Great footwork off the block, we make a point to get it in there to her. It’s different than in today’s game where most everything is done from the outside. We stick to the old school and feed her because she can make a difference.”
That lead more than doubled in the second quarter.
The Warriors went into a drought that lasted the length of a quarter.
Jenada Sweeney scored with 3:35 left in the first quarter and Windsor’s next basket was not until Nahriel Gelly broke the ice with 3:25 left in the second.
It led to a 32-11 lead at the break.
But the Warriors depth began to wear on the Centaurs in the second half.
“It was a battle from the start. They were scrappy, they were fast, they had hands on us the whole game and we had hands on them. We got tired and our shots weren’t falling, but we continued to run and the defense was there. That’s what won us the game,” Woods said.
The Centaurs were up by 24, 39-15, with 2:52 left in the third quarter when Windsor went on a 13-1 run to end the quarter.
After Woods had a three-point play to start the third quarter, the Warriors scored the next five to cut it to 10, 43-33.
“They ramped up the pressure, took us to places we didn’t want to go and we bought in,” Fleeton said.
But the Centaurs had enough answers to maintain that double-digit lead until just 29 seconds remained when Windsor scored to account for the final eight-point win.
Heather Converse added 13 points.
Woods was named to the All-Tournament team for the Centaurs while Ciri Miller was named to the All-Academic team.
Marc Allard
Sports Information Director


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