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WAKE FOREST - Heritage's girls basketball team is climbing up the NAC 6 conference standings after convincing wins over their rivals Wake Forest and Rolesville this past week. The Lady Huskies defeated the Cougars 46-33 on the road Tuesday and beat the Rams 54-34 at home Friday Jan. 24.
In their most recent game at Wake Forest, Heritage had a slow start down 10-7 by the end of the first quarter. The Huskies turned things around in the second period, outscoring the Cougars 13-3 to go into halftime up 20-13.
In the third quarter, Wake Forest came out firing on all cylinders. The Cougars cranked up the offense to outscore the Huskies 17-9, taking a 30-29 lead at the end of the quarter.
Heritage adjusted on defense in the fourth quarter, while also piling up the points. The Huskies held the Cougars to just three points in the period and added 17 of their own to win the game 46-33.
With the win, Heritage improved to 10-9 overall and 4-1 in NAC 6 conference play. After the victory over Wake Forest, Heritage is second in the conference behind Wakefield.
Heritage head coach Pat Kennedy said his team has their eyes set on the target.
"We want to win the conference," Kennedy said. "Wakefield beat us here. We feel like we can beat Wakefield at their place."
Heritage's defense smothers Rolesville at home
In their home match against Rolesville Friday, Heritage opened the game with back-to-back 3-pointers to take a 6-0 lead. Rolesville eventually climbed back into the game and went ahead 10-9. Heritage scored three more points at the end to tie the game at 12-12 at the end of the first period.
In the second quarter, Heritage slowly, but surely extended their lead. The Huskies went into halftime up 22-16.
In the third period, Heritage pulled off an 8-0 run to take a 30-16 advantage. The Huskies added a few more points to go up 40-28.
Finally in the fourth quarter, Heritage pulled away their biggest lead of the night at 49-30 off a 9-2 run. The defense silenced the Rams from that point on and the Huskies held on to win 54-34.
"Tonight was more about effort than defensive schemes," Kennedy said. "We just had players that were connected on the defensive end. Noelle Horton does an amazing job for us getting deflections. Her energy is infectious for us."
Simone Mahoney led Heritage with 18 points, including four 3-pointers. Anais Jackson was the only other player to score in double-digits with 10 points. The junior point guard also made two 3-pointers.
As a team, Heritage made a total of 10 3-pointers against Rolesville. Kennedy said it was a result of making good passes and applying what they learned in practice.
"We thought our ball movement was better tonight," Kennedy said. "We're starting to get penetration down the floor. It's what we worked on in practice all week. I told the girls that if they played like they practiced, we would have a good outcome."
Heritage will play at Corinth Holders Friday Jan. 31 at 6 p.m.