12/01/12 — WCDS rallies past Wayne Christian girls

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WCDS rallies past Wayne Christian girls

By Rudy Coggins
Published in Sports on December 1, 2012 11:57 PM

Sarah Best wiped her sweaty cheeks on the towel, threw it toward the bench and walked back onto the court.

She stood beside Wayne Christian's Brooke Barfield and waited for play to resume.

"Don't let her get it," Wayne Country Day head coach Eric Perry said.

Best didn't.

The senior guard stole the inbounds pass and rattled home the game-winning layup to cap a remarkable 51-49, come-from-behind triumph over the Eagles on Friday evening. Best poured in a career-high 37 points, including 18 in the final period for the Chargers, who evened their record at 2-2 overall this season.

"Sarah is the ultimate team player and no one cares about their teammates more than Sarah," Perry said. "She's got a big heart, just like the rest of the team. She's been Cat's (Ford) sidekick since I've been here.

"In the first half, there was no question in my mind that Sarah was the best player on the court. She didn't play like it."

Wayne Christian (2-3) built a 15-point lead in the opening half, but could never expand upon its advantage. The Chargers allowed Barfield, who tallied 19 points, to get wide-open looks on 3-pointers when they didn't step out to guard in their 1-3-1 zone defense.

Kelsey Kornegay helped control the boards and collected eight of her 12 points in the opening half. Kornegay finished with a double-double -- 12 points, 14 rebounds.

"I don't think we were particularly nervous, we weren't connecting ... were just expecting things to happen instead of making it happen," Best said. "We were waiting for some break that didn't happen, at least that's what I think about it."

The Eagles (2-3) could never expand on their lead.

The Chargers settled down at halftime and trailed by 13 points after three quarters. They shaved the deficit to nine points on two occasions in the final period before Best finally took over.

After two free throws by Katie Isenhower pushed Wayne Christian ahead 46-40, Best scored in transition off Hannah Pearson's rebound and Karis Hawkins swished two free throws to make it 47-44.

The teams traded baskets before Wayne Christian committed another costly turnover. Best picked up the loose ball and got fouled as she drove to the basket. The ball rolled off the rim, but she drained both free throws, which trimmed the Eagles' lead to 49-48 with 21.5 seconds to go.

Best converted the game-tying free throw with 9.8 seconds to go and missed the second, which resulted in a held-ball possession that favored the Eagles.

After a timeout, the teams returned to the court and Perry reminded Best to prevent Barfield from catching the inbounds pass from Victoria Combs. Combs lobbed it toward midcourt, Best intercepted it and finished off the comeback with her game-winning layup.

"To be honest, the fourth quarter was a blur because it went by so fast," Best said. "I wasn't nervous, was just focused on the game because I knew we were going to pull it through."