Wayne Country Day owned the first quarter Thursday night.
However, a high school game is four quarters long — not one.
Through missing shots and not getting rebounds, Wayne Country Day’s momentum slowly faded away in the remaining three quarters. Eastern Wayne took advantage of the holes and dealt a 60-48 loss to the Chargers.
“We started off a little slow,” said Eastern Wayne head coach Michael Gurganus. “When we got going, I thought we played good team basketball, started moving the ball well up the court, especially in the second half.”
“Give credit to Wayne Country Day, they played really good defense, and they’re well coached.”
Before the second-half collapse, the Chargers played very efficient basketball in the opening half.
Eastern Wayne tied the game 4-4, but Wayne Country Day’s Jala Holloman responded with a jumper and a free throw.
Langley Barnes drained in one 3-pointer and Lexi Jeffreys scored eight points to give the Chargers 14 points in the first quarter.
“We played decent in the first half,” Wayne Country Day head coach Maurice Jones said. “In the second half we got killed on the boards.”
The shots that were falling in the first quarter harmlessly banged against the rim for the remaining 24 minutes.
Wayne Country Day’s 14-6 first-quarter lead dwindled, as Eastern Wayne took a 39-33 lead at the end of the third quarter.
“They caught fire in the second half,” Jones said. “From where we were sitting, it almost seemed like they couldn’t miss.”
In the fourth quarter, Eastern Wayne stayed hot and grabbed a 47-37 lead with five minutes remaining in the game. Then it turned to 55-44, and eventually 60-48 – off a 5-4 run.
The Warriors knocked in six three-pointers in the second half, and were fantastic crashing the boards.
“Once we started getting in the flow of things, we got a little more comfortable,” Gurganus said. “In first half we couldn’t find the basket it seems, in the second half we were able to find it.
“Once you see one go in the basket, it kind of does something to you sometimes.”
Jala Holloman led the Chargers with 17 points. The next highest scorer for the Chargers was Ja’Kea Brunson with 11 points.
Eastern Wayne – displaying offensive balance – had three players with at least 10 points.
Nyesha Best scored 24 points, Myesha Best scored 18 points, and Ziomara Williams scored 14 points.
Gurganus knew his girls wanted this game, and said he was proud of how they fought down the stretch.
“It was a great team win,” Gurganus said. “I’m proud of them. We kept fighting and playing, and you know that’s all you can do. I’m just proud of them.”