01/23/05 — Ziemer's clutch free throws lift WCDS women

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Ziemer's clutch free throws lift WCDS women

By Neil Fuller
Published in Sports on January 23, 2005 2:02 AM

Two free throws from Laura Ziemer. That's all the Wayne Country Day women's basketball team needed to overcome 21 turnovers.

Ziemer converted two free-throw attempts with 3.2 seconds remaining, and senior forward Christin Grubb scored a game-high 18 points as the Lady Chargers edged visiting Faith Christian of Rocky Mount 41-39 on Friday night in Classes 1-A/2-A Coastal Plains Independent Conference play.

"I was really nervous up at the (free-throw) line," Ziemer admitted. "I was just relieved that we got this win, because our team has worked so hard. I'm really proud of how we played tonight."

Chargers men's coach Randy Tilley had much to be proud of, too.

Every active player on the Wayne Country Day roster scored at least one basket in a 103-38 rout of Faith Christian -- the Chargers' fourth 100-point performance of the season -- to set up a crucial conference matchup at Wilson Greenfield on Tuesday.

Spenser Briggs hit five 3-pointers and led all scorers with 28 points. As a team, Wayne Country Day buried 14 shots from behind the 3-point arc.

"All 10 of our players contributed tonight and played extremely well," Tilley said. "I told our guys at halftime to save some of those 3-pointers for Greenfield. Our shooting was impressive tonight.

"When we're focused, show up to play and play hard, we're a pretty good basketball team that has a chance to win a state championship."

Junior forward Adam Wright hit three second-quarter 3-pointers as the Chargers (14-4, 3-1 CPIC) claimed a 61-18 lead at intermission.

Matters only got worse for the Patriots (7-10, 0-4), who were limited to two third-quarter field goals.

Wright finished with 16 points, and Phillip Weeks and Tavor Waters had 15 each.

Stephen Weeks led the Patriots with 13 points.

The 3-point shot also played an important role in the women's game.

Faith Christian guard Meredith Bruce hit her third 3 of the night with 2:21 remaining to give the Lady Patriots a 37-34 lead -- their first advantage since early in the second quarter.

Grubb recorded a 3-point play with 51.3 seconds left to put Wayne Country Day (8-10, 3-1) up 39-37. Mary Kate Watson's two free throws seconds later pulled the Lady Patriots (7-10, 1-3) even -- setting up Ziemer's heroics from the charity stripe.

"Winning this one means a lot," said Ziemer, a member of Wayne Country Day's all-senior starting lineup. "We're ready to step up as we face more conference games."

Ziemer finished with 11 points. Fellow senior Elle Dubberly added five points, seven rebounds and three assists, and Mimi Bridgers scored five.

Grubb was 5-for-5 from the free-throw line during the fourth quarter and 8-for-8 on the night.

"Our confidence at the end was the main thing," Lady Chargers coach Toni Ingram said. "My seniors stepped up tonight and did what they had to do."

Bruce led Faith Christian with 17 points, and Watson scored 16.

Watson's jumper from just inside the arc beat the halftime buzzer to tie the game at 17 heading into the break. The Lady Chargers responded with a 9-0 run to start the second half, but an eight-minute drought from the field allowed the Lady Patriots to make their late charge.

"We're proud to be leaving here with the win," Ingram said. "I'm proud of my team."