Teach edges Bethel in final quarter
Published 9:33 pm Tuesday, February 10, 2015
CHOCOWINITY — It’s a new era for the Teach girls’ basketball team. With the graduation of key senior leaders and the tragic death of a brilliant, lively head coach, the Trailblazers have battled through close, defensive games this season, adhering first-year head coach Amy Bennett’ new system.
But like previous years, adversity never seems to bother those who sport Teach red. On Tuesday, the Trailblazers responded once again, pulling off a come-from-behind, 31-29 victory against Bethel Assembly on Senior Night.
“We had a poor game. I think we played kind of dead honestly,” a critical Bennett said after the game. “We played awesome against (Pungo) last week, but we pulled it out. They have heart and we pulled it out.”
Even with Bethel holding a clear size advantage in the paint, guard Meredith Woolard challenged defenders at mid-range and got hot early. Feeding off pick and rolls, she scored six of her team’s first seven points in the first quarter and prevented the Eagles from opening up a big lead.
After a defensive-minded first quarter, Teach began to take control through the next eight minutes. Woolard found space on the perimeter and drained two threes, while a gritty man defense contained Bethel’s Brittany Evans and Heather Farmer down low. Teach held a fairly comfortable 17-13 lead at the break.
The third quarter is where it all fell apart for the home team. After a few halftime adjustments, Bethel began to press and contest every shot, leading to a slew of missed shots from Teach, while Evans and Caitlyn Mizelle began to heat up. It didn’t take long for the Eagles to erase the deficit. Outscoring the Trailblazers 13-5 in the third quarter, it was Bethel that entered the final eight minutes with a 26-22 lead.
But Teach would not disappoint on Senior Night. A back and forth defensive affair finally gave way late in the quarter on a bucket by Taylor Woolard and a layup from Kaleigh Cobb, who was virtually a nonfactor through the first three quarters. However, a pair of late baskets in transition by Cobb would eventually be the difference.
With 20 seconds remaining, Cobb stole the ball, dribbled up court in traffic and hit the layup, giving Teach a lead it did not relinquish and sending the fans home happy.
With the win, Teach improves to 10-6 with one away game against Victory remaining in the regular season.
Meredith Woolard finished with a game-high 12 points, while Taylor Woolard chipped in with 8.