Sophomore Sasha Bates stood on the free throw line when it all went down, and she remained there with her T.C. Williams teammates for several minutes while West Springfield’s coaching staff disputed a call in a heated exchange with the officials.
The result was an ejection for Spartans Coach Bill Gibson, a technical for an assistant and a five-point possession for the road team thanks to free throws by Bates and senior Bhrandi Crenshaw.
The Titans have been frustrating opponents all season with their physicality, and on Friday night, the Spartans became their latest victim. No. 13 T.C. Williams made a living at the charity stripe in a 66-49 victory that extended its winning streak to 13 games.
“Normally we don’t depend on the free throw line, but today we had to because things weren’t going our way,” Crenshaw said.
Sophomore Trinity Palacio was the only Titans player generating offense for most of the first half. The 5-foot-5 shooting guard scored the team’s first eight points, weaving through the West Springfield zone defense for runners and connecting on three-pointers.
Palacio had a game-high 28 points, and it wasn’t until midway through the second quarter — after the team’s extended trip to the foul line — that another T.C. Williams player converted a field goal. But thanks to a free throw frenzy and a suffocating fullcourt press, the Titans (19-1, 12-0 Virginia Conference 7) didn’t need a perfect performance from their offense. The team attempted 17 foul shots in the second quarter and 45 for the game, converting 25.
“Teams better be scared of us,” Palacio said, laughing. “We like a fast game. The pressure, they can’t handle it.”
West Springfield (6-12, 3-9) trailed 36-22 at halftime and trimmed the deficit to nine early in the third quarter. Sophomore Molly Sharman had 17 points and senior Emma Sharman added 13 to lead the Spartans.
But the Titans pulled away in the second half. Palacio hit a deep three-pointer and drilled another shot moments later to build the lead back up to 14.
Crenshaw had 14 points, including five in the fourth quarter, as T.C. Williams remained undefeated in 2017 and notched another double-digit victory.
“It’s exciting,” Palacio said. “We just have to remember, we don’t want to lose that one game to mess up our streak.”
After falling one win short of the state tournament last season , the Titans want to finish the job this winter.
“We just want to keep going and hopefully win districts and move on to states,” Bates said.
Coverage from AllMetSports.com