02/23/05 — Hobgood ends WCDS women's season in NCISAA first round

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Hobgood ends WCDS women's season in NCISAA first round

By Neil Fuller
Published in Sports on February 23, 2005 1:55 PM

Adversity brings out the best in the Hobgood Academy women's basketball team. It was a lesson learned too late by Wayne Country Day.

Visiting Hobgood overcame 28 turnovers and a depleted roster that included only seven players Tuesday night to defeat the eighth-seeded Lady Chargers 60-46 in the opening round of the NCISAA Class 1-A playoffs.

Ginny Whitehead hit three 3-pointers and finished with a game-high 26 points to help the Raiders (15-10) overcome the loss of two players -- one to the flu, the other to an inflamed appendix.

"We knew we were going to have to dig deep coming in here tonight," Hobgood coach Pamela Casper said. "At practice yesterday, we discussed what we were bringing down here and what was in front of us. They stepped up to the challenge."

Hobgood, seeded No. 9, faces top-seeded Gaston Day at Charlotte Country Day School on Thursday at 10:30 a.m. in a quarterfinal matchup.

A putback by senior center Laura Ziemer pulled Wayne Country Day (13-14) even at 30-all midway through the third quarter. But the Raiders responded with an 11-2 run and would not lose the lead again.

Whitehead was 6-for-6 from the free-throw line during the final minute the close out the Lady Chargers' season.

"I thought we had our chance to take control of the game (in the third quarter), but the girls just sort of lost their momentum," Wayne Country Day coach Toni Ingram said. "I was hoping we could step it up at that point and take control."

The Lady Chargers lost more than just momentum late in the third quarter.

Senior forward Christin Grubbs fouled out of her final game wearing a Wayne Country Day uniform -- taking her team-leading 18 points and three blocks with her.

"That was a big loss for us," Ingram said. "Christin played with a lot of heart tonight. I'm just extremely proud of her."

Despite 16 first-half turnovers, Hobgood took a 25-19 advantage into intermission.

Caitlin Whitley had 20 points and seven rebounds for Hobgood, and Morgan Clarke added 10 points.

"I'd say adversity has made us a stronger team," Casper said. "I think adversity just pulls our players together. They've counted on each other, and they've leaned on each other.

"That's made us stronger."

Notes: Tiara Broadie scored 11 points for WCDS. ... Hobgood converted 13-of-16 on free-throw attempts. ... WCDS committed 21 turnovers. ... WCDS men's basketball coach Randy Tilley praised the Lady Chargers following his team's 59-40 playoff win over Waccammaw Academy later in the night. "I'm proud of our girls," Tilley said. "I thought they played well. They've played with a lot of heart all season."