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RALEIGH - Wakefield's girls basketball team stays undefeated in NAC 6 conference play after a 36-32 win over Heritage Tuesday and a 54-39 win at Rolesville Friday Jan. 31.
In their most recent match-up against Heritage, Wakefield took a commanding 12-0 lead at the start of the game. The Huskies didn't score their first points until there was 45 seconds left in the first quarter. The Wolverines went into the second period up 12-2.
In the second quarter, there was little scoring between both teams. Heritage outscored Wakefield 6-4, but the Wolverines stayed ahead 16-8 at halftime.
Heritage scored more points in the third quarter than they did in the entire first half. However, Wakefield scored just enough points to keep themselves above the Huskies at 24-17 by the end of the period.
In the fourth quarter, Heritage cut into the deficit to try and make a comeback. Wakefield played conservative on offense, draining the clock by holding onto the ball and passing it around. The strategy paid off as the Wolverines completed their season sweep over Heritage with a 36-32 victory.
"We just wanted to slow the game down," Wakefield head coach Donald Williams said. "I feel confident in my defense. I wanted to make sure we took a good shot on every possession. I wanted us to be patient and get the shot we wanted."
It was a big night for Wakefield's Amirah Allen. After not scoring a single point in the first quarter, they dropped 14 points in the final three quarters to lead the Wolverines.
Katelyn Buggs finished the night with 11 points after hitting a bunch of free throws in the fourth quarter.
Williams said the reason why his defense plays better in the first half than in the second half is due to fatigue.
"Our girls just get tired by the second half," Williams said. "That's how we play. We press on defense and run all over the court. We're not as deep this year as we were last year. The good thing is that when we're tired, I know Heritage's players are tired."
With the loss, Heritage dropped to 11-10 overall and 5-2 in NAC 6 conference play. Their three-game win streak was snapped by Wakefield.
Heritage's only two losses in conference play this season are to the Wolverines. This is the second year in a row Wakefield swept Heritage in the regular season.
With the win, Wakefield extended their win streak to 11 games with a 17-3 overall record. The Wolverines are undefeated in the NAC 6 at 7-0 and undefeated at home with a 9-0 record.
Wakefield just has to beat Corinth Holders Friday Jan. 7 on the road at 6 p.m. and they will be crowned NAC 6 conference champs for the second year in a row.
"Winning the regular season conference championship was one of our goals heading into this year," Williams said. "It's still one game at a time. We know we can get better. We still have bigger fish to fry."
Wakefield handles Rolesville for season sweep
In their road game at Rolesville Friday Jan. 31, Wakefield dominated from the very start and never gave up the lead to win 54-39.
The Wolverines took an early 10-3 lead in the first quarter. They went into the second period up 12-6.
Wakefield dropped 20 points in the second quarter to extend their advantage to 32-16 before halftime.
"We started making shots in the second quarter," Williams said. "The girls did a good job of sharing the basketball. We had plenty of assists in the first half."
Rolesville added 10 more points in the third quarter, but Wakefield scored 13 points to stay ahead 45-26 at the end of the period.
In the fourth quarter, Rolesville outscored Wakefield 13-9, but by that point, the Wolverines already had a comfortable lead and held strong to win 54-39.
"I was really happy with our defense in the first half," Williams said. "In the second half, I was not happy with our defense. We gave up too many lay-ups and offensive rebounds. We still have a lot of work to do defensively."
Elise Williams went off for Wakefield in the win at Rolesville with a double-double of 29 points and 11 rebounds. The junior also led the way with six steals, plus three assists.
Amanda Barber was second on the team for Wakefield in scoring with eight points. Buggs contributed with seven points.
After the wins over their conference rivals, Wakefield just has three more games to play in the regular season. The Wolverines just need one more win to claim the conference title in back-to-back seasons.
"Every game is a big game for us," Williams said. "We have to respect every opponent we play. We're treating it one game at a time. We feel pretty good heading into our next match. We're looking forward to the challenge. We'll be ready."