It’s not how you start, but how you finish.
Washington (12-2) defeated Bloomfield (7-6) 75-54 despite a rough first quarter that put the Hatchets in a big hole early.
Coming off a disappointing 10-point defeat Saturday to Class 3A No. 1 Princeton and scoring machine Jackie Young, the No. 11 Hatchets came out with one of their worst quarters of the year. Bloomfield outscored Washington 24-13 and connected on four 3-pointers, led by Kaylee Moody with six points.
“We knew that Bloomfield was a very scrappy, feisty team that does a very good job with the dribble, drive and kick,” said Washington coach Gretchen Miles. “Any time there is daylight, they’re going to put that ball up. Unfortunately for us, they didn’t miss many shots as they put up 24 points in that first quarter.”
The second quarter, however, was a completely different story. Washington scored the first 13 points of the quarter to take a 26-24 lead with 4:18 to play before halftime. The Hatchets used a 9-0 run to take a 39-27 lead into halftime after outscoring the Cardinals 26-3 in the second quarter. Lupe Perez and Carrie Lane had six points a piece in the quarter.
“Anytime you call a timeout, it’s to stop the bleeding from what they were doing and you get a wake up call. This group is so competitive and they understand that they just weren’t playing well in that first quarter. We had unforced turnovers, we weren’t attacking the basket and I think when we made the adjustment of putting Ally (Hunsinger) out top with the two guard front against that 1-3-1 zone and she was able to see over the top better to be able to reverse the ball and get it inside and be able to penetrate the gaps. In that first half of play she had seven assists.”
In the third quarter, not much changed for the Washington offense. Senior forward Ally Hunsinger scored 11 her game-high 19 points in the quarter. The Hatchets surrendered 18 points, but still led 58-45 entering the final quarter. Meaghan Bond, Alicia Hasler and Moody each hit a 3-pointer to keep Bloomfield within striking distance. In addition to Hunsinger’s 19 points, five rebounds and eight assists, Cheyenne Jones had 17 points, Lupe Perez and Audra Stallman each scored 12, Jenna Johnson had seven and Carrie Lane had eight points off the bench.
“I think that’s what you expect out of your senior leaders, (Hunsinger, Stallman and Perez) when times get tough everybody looks to them to see how they are going to react to situations and slowly, but surely we got ourselves back into the game. The fun part about tonight was for 32 minutes we shared the basketball, we played team defense and we rebounded the basketball and you saw them enjoying playing with one another and that makes a huge difference even though we fought some adversity early.”
To start the fourth, Washington imitated its second quarter effort on both ends of the court. The Hatchets scored the first 13 points of the quarter and held Bloomfield scoreless until Hasler’s trey cut the Washington lead to 71-48 with 2:50 to play in regulation. Washington emptied its bench with two minutes to play in regulation after a devastating three quarter run. After a getting outscored 24-13 in the first eight minutes, the Hatchets outscored Bloomfield 62-30 in the final 24 minutes.
Washington will look to ride this wave of momentum when it visits Gibson Southern Saturday afternoon at 1:30 p.m.