Lopsided loss highlights Lady Pack shortcomings
Published 11:41 pm Tuesday, February 9, 2016
It was a one-point game through the first eight minutes, but North Pitt spent the other three quarters systematically dismantling Washington en route to an 81-39 win. The lopsided loss to the No. 1 club in the 2-A Eastern Plains Conference spoiled senior night for the Pam Pack girls.
It started with the visitors opening the second period on a 12-2 run. Washington suddenly found itself trailing by double figures and North Pitt kept the pressure on. Tierra Wiggins knocked down a 3-pointer and Lakitia Basnight rebounded a free throw and put it in. The Pam Pack’s deficit was only 10 points, but that would be as close as things would get.
Washington trailed 65-28 by the end of the third quarter.
“We didn’t match the energy or intensity,” Pam Pack coach Ralph Biggs said. “We couldn’t sustain it and they took advantage of it. … We’re going to work on our discipline and concentration to prepare better. We’ve had lapses before, but they show when you play a team like this.”
The Lady Panthers kept running in the second half. They followed up a 33-point first half by hammering in another 48 in the latter 16 minutes.
The game was an opportunity to solidify the No. 2 spot in the conference. Washington went into the game with an even 4-4 league ledger, tied with Southwest Edgecombe’s ladies. The loss could make Friday’s contest at North Johnston a must win if the girls are to finish behind North Pitt.
What the game did provide, however, was an opportunity to learn. It highlighted some glaring deficiencies that Washington needs to address ahead of the postseason.
The Pam Pack’s main issue was breaking North Pitt’s press. The Lady Panthers aren’t the only squad that will bring tons of pressure.
“You have to be patient and pass the ball. We did that for the first two quarters, but we missed layups. Maybe it would have been a four-point game at the half,” Biggs said. “In the second half, we didn’t have the discipline to beat the press. We basically lost our composure.”
Another area of concern had more to do with the team’s mental toughness. Pressure is only amplified once the conference tournament and playoffs roll around. Biggs knows handling that is something the girls need to work on.
“(We need to) mainly stay under control, handle the pressure and not let things get to you on the court,” he said. “We can’t let one mistake turn into four mistakes. We’ve got to work on our memory — have a short memory for mistakes and a long memory for consistency.”
Basnight and Daria Jones were two players that stood out to Biggs from a leadership standpoint. Those intangibles are oftentimes difference makers after the regular season comes to a close.