ROCKY POINT — A stiff pressure defense, a double-double from Courtney Thompson and a huge fourth quarter helped visiting West Bladen take down Heidi Trask on Saturday in a Four County Conference game, 55-46.
The win improved the Lady Knights to 11-5 overall and 6-3 in the conference.
West Bladen opened the game with a solid first quarter, its halfcourt press pestering the Lady Titans into turnovers while Thompson poured in 12 points and Miriam Mendoza draining a three-pointer. When the quarter came to a close, the Lady Knights held a 17-10 edge.
Things slowed a bit in the second stanza, with Thompson being held to just three points in the period. But West Bladen won the quarter by an 11-9 margin and took a 28-19 lead into halftime.
“We played pretty good defense in the first half,” said West Bladen coach Pam Stephens. “But it was getting evident that the layoff (due to the weather) was starting to wear us out.”
The Lady Knights opened the second half with a zone defense, but Trask quickly began picking it apart. Before the buzzer sounded to end the quarter, the Lady Titans had won the period 12-6 and closed the gap to 34-31.
West Bladen went back to its pressure defense and it paid dividend with Trask turnovers in the fourth quarter. Laikyn Pait connected on a three-pointer and West Bladen points began coming from throughout the lineup. The Lady Knights put up 21 points in the period to seal the game.
“We came out a little flat in the third quarter, and their shots started falling against our zone,” Stephens said. “But we went back to the press and things turned around.”
Thompson finished the game with a team-high 22 points with 25 rebounds — 17 of those coming in the first half. She also had five blocked shots.
Taylor Stephens contributed 13 points for the Lady Knights, and added six assists and three steals. She was also 5-for-5 at the free throw line. Mendoza had five points and four assists.