Lady Jackets advance in state All ‘A’

Published 9:50 am Thursday, January 25, 2018

RICHMOND — Holding teams below their season average of points scored has become the norm for theWilliamsburg Lady Yellow Jackets.

During their run to the program’s first-ever 13th Region All ‘A’ Classic championship last week, Williamsburg limited two of their opponents to season-low outputs while holding another to their second worst offensive performance of the season.

It was more of the same during the Lady Yellow Jackets’ 46-32 first round win over Lyon County in Wednesday’s All ‘A’ Classic State Tournament.

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Williamsburg held the Lady Lyons to their second worst scoring effort of the season while limiting them to 12-of-52 shooting from the floor, including a 1-of-11 effort from 3-point territory.

“That’s what we pride ourselves on — it’s the little things,” Williamsburg coach Randy Crider said. “Like I’ve told you all before, defense isn’t fun and it’s not going to get you all of the accolades, but it’s going to get you a W, and that’s what we are all trying to come together and do.”

The win gives Williamsburg High School its first basketball state tournament win since 1940, when the boys basketball team accomplished the feat. Williamsburg (14-7) will be back in action Friday during quarterfinal play against Walton Verona, which defeated Brown on Wednesday, 49-32.

“Elie Eight — it’s awesome,” Crider said of his team advancing. “Walton Verona is a good team. They’re going to come after us on the defensive end, so we’ve got to be ready for that. We can’t play out of our minds. We’ve got to stay within ourselves — don’t play too fast. We’ve got to be smart about those things. We’re going to be able to go practice and everything, and shoot around at UK, which is pretty cool for the girls. It will be a great first-time experience for them. So we’ll be ready. We’re going to have fun with it.”

Williamsburg had fun on Wednesday despite hitting a minor bump in the road during the third quarter.

The Lady Yellow Jackets built a 19-11 lead at halftime, but it quickly disappeared after seeing lyon County open the second half with a 7-0 run, which prompted Crider to call a quick timeout.

The timeout worked, as Williamsburg picked up its defensive play, forcing the Lady Lyons into five turnovers which led to a 12-0 run by the Lady Yellow Jackets.

“When they kind of had that little run, we weren’t doing what we were supposed to do,” Crider said. “That’s why I called the timeout and got on them. It was strictly defense (after that). Once we had the timeout, they didn’t score again until the next timeout.

Madison Chapman hit a key 3-pointer during the scoring spree while Lillie Hall also added a 3-pointer while scoring five of her game-high 19 points during the period to give Williamsburg a 31-23 lead going into the fourth quarter.

Hall started the game off slow after being chased throughout the game by a Lyon County defender, but once she was able to break through and get open, she showed why we was last week’s 13th Region All ‘A’ Classic Tournament MVP.

“Kind of at the beginning, (she) kind of got out of herself a little bit — a little comfort zone, but we were able to settle her down and tell her, ‘listen, you don’t have to force things, let the game come to you’ and then obviously with her leading us in scoring, it did,” Crider said. “She was able to do that, and it was great.”

The Lady Yellow Jackets kept up their intensity on defense during the final eight minutes of the contest, and pulled away to captured the 14-point victory by outscoring the Lady Lyons 15-9.

Hall continued to shine, as she scored seven points during the final quarter of play.

Crider said he was pleased with the way his team played defense while in turn allowing Williamsburg to blow the game open.

“We thought we could get up in them and (attempt to) aggravate them a little bit,” he said. “We talked about that a lot at practice yesterday when we went through our walk-through. I we did a very good job of doing that tonight.

“It was great. It was really great,” he added when his team opened up a wide margin which allowed his back-ups to play. “We would love to get our back-ups in there and get playing time, especially on a stage like this. I’m so proud that we were able to do that because everyone on our team is going to be able to now cherish that the rest of their lives that they were able to play at this level.”

Hall finished the game connecting on 6-of-17 shooting from the floor while also hitting 5-of-6 shot attempts from the free-throw line. She also had four rebounds and four steals. Kelsey Tye turned in an eight-point, eight-rebound effort while Kayla Gibson finished with six points, seven rebounds and five assists. Lillie Abbott scored four points in the win along with Tori Lester while Chapman turned in a five-point scoring effort.