Tigers roar back to top Pam Pack

Published 3:13 pm Thursday, December 11, 2008

By By BRIAN HAINES, Sports Writer
Once again Katie Paschal proved why she is one of the top basketball players in the state as she scored 15 of her game-high 30 points in the final eight minutes to lead Williamston on a decisive 24-6 fourth quarter run to top Washington 63-55 Wednesday.
After a sluggish performance in the first half, the 1-A Tigers amped up their press and clamped down on the Pack guards forcing several steals which were converted into fastbreak buckets.
Paschal played staunch defense and was rewarded on the other end as she was able to run the floor and score on the 3-A Pam Pack.
Three times in a three minute span the Williamston guard was able to convert layups and draw a foul, as she tallied eight points during that period.
Another Paschal layup tied the game at 51, and after a Shakera Norfleet bucket the Tigers would take a 53-51 lead.
Norfleet was the Tigers’ second leading scorer with nine points.
Williamston (5-0) would hold on to that lead for the rest of the game.
The Tigers’ press was the key to their second half run, and Williamston coach Jimmy Elks said that being able to score helped unleash its full-court press.
The Pam Pack (2-3) played a near flawless first half, as it employed a box-and-one defense on Paschal, with Washington guards Jordan Cantrell and Beth Batchelor drawing defensive duties on the Tigers’ star for a majority of the time.
The strategy worked as the duo helped limit Paschal to 10 points after the first two quarters.
With Paschal in check, the Tigers struggled to move the ball around and find a secondary scorer.
While Williamston’s offense was in a rut, Washington’s was clicking on all cylinders.
Center Sharita Grice added a few point down low early, while Cantrell tallied 10 first-half points.
Harmony Simpkins and Davey Ann Burbage scored five each in the second quarter, as the Pam Pack went into halftime holding a convincing 35-17 lead.
Foul trouble forced Washington pull Cantrell and Batchelor off of Paschal in the second half, and made them play more conservatively.
The Pack scorers did not come through in the second half as Cantrell only scored two more points, while Stowe and Burbage were shutout.
Simpkins was Washington’s lone threat late in the game as she scored seven points down the stretch and tied Cantrell for a team-high 12 points.
Spencer leads Pack past Tigers
Washington’s Dakuan Spencer buried shots from all over the court and in the process buried Williamston as his 30-point effort led the 3-A Pam Pack to a 72-62 win over the 1-A Tigers.
Spencer was lights-out in the first half as he poured in 17 points to give Washington (4-1) a 41-33 advantage at the break. It was one Washington would never surrender.
The scrappy Tigers (1-4) fought hard all game, and were led by Keon Coffield’s 19 points. Williamston threatened late, but the combination of Spencer and Jarees Griffin (16 points) was too much.
Washington coach Joe Lawrence said he was happy with his team’s perimeter defense, but said the team needs to step up its effort in the paint.
Tigers’ coach Dennis Gilmore, whose roster is not complete because Williamston is still playing football, said that he was happy to see a more balanced attack on offense.
Williamston 15 18 13 16 — 62
Washington 23 18 21 10 — 72
Tigers (62)
Keon Coffield 19, Speller 4, Bond 5, Freeman 2, Griffin 9, Prentise Wilkins 14, James 5, Harrell 4.
Pam Pack (72)
Harris 7, Tripp 4, Dakuan Spencer 30, Albritton 5, Moore 5, Jarees Griffin 16, Langley 3, Godley 2.
Williamston 7 10 22 24 — 63
Washington 13 22 14 6 — 55
Tigers (63)
Paschal 30, Harrell 6, Clemmons 7, Jones 4, Everette 5, Shakera Norfleet 11, Wynn 2.
Pam Pack (55)
Grice 9, Jordan Cantrell 12, Harmony Simpkins 12, Burke 3, Stowe 9, Batchelor 3, Burbage 5.