From top to bottom, the Walter Johnson girls have an undersized lineup. And last night the biggest contributions came from their two smallest starters.
Five-foot-two junior guard Lindsay Brant and 5-7 junior guard Devon Wilson combined for 42 points and 17 rebounds to lift the Wildcats to a 59-53 victory over Churchill in a Montgomery County nonleague game in Potomac. Walter Johnson (11-1) won its ninth consecutive game since losing to No. 8 Paint Branch on Dec. 14. Churchill (10-2) had won five in a row.
Wilson scored 13 of her game-high 22 points in the second half and added eight rebounds. Brant had 20 points and nine rebounds, including seven points in the fourth quarter.
"Today was a really important game for us because we want to go into the Paint Branch rematch [Jan. 25] with only one loss," Wilson said.
"I knew what I had to do today--score, rebound and play good defense."
Walter Johnson pulled down 48 rebounds, led by 5-11 senior center Madaleine Sorkin, who had 10.
But Wilson and Brant repeatedly used their quickness to get to balls coming off the rim; each had five second-half rebounds.
"That's tenacity," said Walter Johnson Coach Kim Ahearn, who besides Sorkin, does not have a player taller than 5-9. "They go after the ball, have a nose for the ball and are in the right place."
Walter Johnson led 31-25 at halftime when Churchill went on a 9-0 run over the opening four minutes of the third quarter.
The Wildcats responded with an 11-2 run over the next 3 minutes 33 seconds on nine points from Wilson--a three-pointer, a 12-foot jumper and two putbacks following offensive rebounds--and a 15-foot jumper by Brant to go back up, 42-36, with 27 seconds remaining in the third quarter.
Churchill tied the score at 42 with 6:59 remaining when senior guard Melissa Gonzalez made one of her game-high seven steals and set up a layup by senior guard Lyndsay Thornett with a full-court pass. But Brant responded with a three-pointer 10 seconds later to put Walter Johnson ahead to stay.
Two free throws by freshman forward Catherine Adams (16 points) brought Churchill to 50-48 with 3:34 remaining, before Wilson and Brant took over.
"Devon and Lindsay complemented each other real well tonight," Ahearn said. "Lindsay's three-pointer at the beginning of the fourth quarter was a real dagger in their heart."