Things appeared to be going according to plan for Wenonah.
The Dragons quickly built a double-digit lead – thanks to three early 3-pointers – and started to pull away from Mae Jemison in a girls Class 5A Northwest Regional semifinal at Tom Drake Coliseum in Hanceville.
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But Mae Jemison then cut the deficit to seven in the second half, prompting Wenonah coach Emmanuel Bell to call timeout. What did he say?
“Go out there and play with energy,” Wenonah point guard Jayla Morrow said. “When we play with energy we have fun, and when we have fun, we’re winning.”
The Dragons (27-3) had plenty of fun, earning a 59-37 victory over the Jaguars. Kourtnie Smith led Wenonah with 16 points and Morrow added 14 points and four assists.
— Game ball: Give it Wenonah’s pressure defense, which forced 22 turnover sand came up with eight steals.
— Did you know?: Wenonah has now advanced to the regional final for five consecutive seasons, and the Dragons won the 5A state title in 2014, 2015 and 2016.
— Stat sheet: Tamarra Fletcher led Mae Jemison with 10 points. … Mae Jemison made only 6-of-25 3-pointers, but coach Mae Jemison coach Bridgitt Bradley-Brown said the Jags wanted to take jumpers. “We chuck it and go get it,” she said. … Wenonah’s Faith Reynolds had nine points and seven rebounds
— By the numbers: 3, Mae Jemison finished with only three assists on 12 made baskets. … 15, Wenonah finished just 14-of-29 at the free throw line, missing more than half of its freebies. … 10, Mae Jemison shot just 10 free throws, making seven. … 60, Wenonah shot 60 percent, making 21-of-35 shots.
— Coachspeak: “Today was not a representation of what we are as a team. It’s not so much what Wenonah did to us. It was what we did to ourselves. … We’ll be back.” – Bradley-Brown
— They said it …: “Free throws killed us.” — Bell
What’s next?: Wenonah advances to the girls 5A Northwest Regional final, set for Wednesday at 4 p.m Complete article