Blount, Midgette lead Pam Pack to 4th conference win

Published 11:42 am Wednesday, February 5, 2014




The Washington girls basketball team is successfully navigating their way through their first season in the 2A Eastern Plains Conference, and they wouldn’t be there without their leaders, junior forward Shona Midgette and senior sharpshooter Sheema Blount.

On Tuesday night, Midgette’s resilient rebounding and Blount’s rhythmic shooting proved to be a formula for success and a game-winning combination, as the Pam Pack knocked off Southwest Edgecombe, 60-51.

“[Blount’s] shooting is crucial. It draws the defense out and when she can make those balls from long range, it really opens up the game for our posts,” said Head Coach Allison Jones. “The balance is what you want for your team, and I think we’re starting to find that.”

In the first half, the Pam Pack offense worked like clockwork. Blount and senior point guard Dina Redmond controlled the floor, avoiding turnovers and working the ball down low to their forwards, Midgette and junior Abby Walker. The Cougars had no answer, as Washington’s scrappy backcourt contested every jumper.

At least in the first half, last week’s snow and lack of practice seemed to have no effect on the Pam Pack’s energy. “I think we were glad to get back on the court after the long week off last week,” said Jones. “It’s that point of the season where we have to play to our abilities and our strengths, and I think we were able to do that tonight. The flip side of that, the week off made us tired toward the end of the game. We ran some fresh legs out towards the end of the game and I think that helped.”

Up 37-23 at the break off of Blount’s 15-point first half, it was Midgette’s turn to make her presence known in the paint. After an animated Jones singled her out during a timeout, Midgette answered by collecting offensive boards and earning second-chance points.

However, on the back of freshman floor leader Teliyah Owens, the Cougars climbed back into the game in the fourth quarter, exploiting the tired Pam Pack and dropping 23 points in the final eight minutes. Owens led her team with 17 points on the night.

In the end, it wouldn’t be enough, as Jones’ guards employed a half court stall tactic that left the Cougars’ with no other choice but to foul.

“We work a little bit on clock management,” said Jones. “They were in a zone and we tried to get as much out of that as we could in terms of stalling. It’s our version of using the clock to our advantage.”

Blount ended with a game-high 23 points, while Walker finished with 10 and Midgette with nine.

“I think they’re confident,” said Jones. “We’ve won some games where in the fourth quarter. We’ve made some good decisions and protected the ball. When we get to the fourth quarter, they’re confident in their ability to close it out.”

The Pam Pack hit the road to take on Beddingfield on Friday.