When ninth-ranked Wilson lost by two points to seventh-ranked H.D. Woodson a month ago in a holiday tournament, the Tigers still believed they were the top girls basketball team in the Interhigh League. And yesterday in front of an enthusastic crowd at H.D. Woodson, Wilson proved its point, defeating the Warriors, 45-35.
Wilson (12-1, 10-0 in the league) showed great patience on offense, crisply passing around the zone pressure of H.D. Woodson (12-2, 8-2) to find the open player.
With scoring leader Cortella Jones (10 points) having difficulty shooting from the outside, Wilson sophomore Erika Ford (12 points) came out making baseline jumpers.
The first half turned Wilson's way when it forced a fast tempo that bothered the taller Warriors. Wilson's 12-0 run gave the Tigers an 18-6 lead before H.D. Woodson's Monica Jones scored on a jumper.
The Tigers' run was sparked by the nifty ball handling of point guard Nadira Ricks (nine points, six assists). H.D. Woodson also repeatedly missed layups and open jumpers.
Ford gave H.D Woodson a 22-11 halftime lead on a baseline jumper, but early in the second half the Warriors regrouped. Ricks and Jones kept pushing the ball upcourt, but H.D. Woodson responded by passing down low to center Marie Morgan (nine points).
With Wilson leading, 24-14, Morgan made one of two free throws before Ford answered with a fast-break layup.
Woodson, however, made one more run, as Willina Robson (nine points) hit an outside jumper and Renee Watson scored on an uncontested layup to make it 26-19. Ford broke the run with a jumper, but Morgan later scored inside to make it 28-23 after three periods.
But with Ricks spinning and dishing off and Nina Blassengale (12 points, nine rebounds) playing well on the inside, Woodson, with key players Kimberly Hunsucker and Valerie Wages struggling from the field, didn't mount a serious rally the rest of the way.