How a team rebounds after a tough loss says a lot. A close win over Fluvanna County on Tuesday paired with a solid victory over Monticello on Friday showed that Charlottesville might be young and a work in progress, but that their standing in the Jefferson District isn’t changing.
The Black Knights had a game on their hands in the first half but a second quarter run gave them control and a brief late burst in the fourth quelled any Mustangs hopes of a comeback to wrap up a 50-41 win.
“We’d been preaching about this all week and run at the second, I mean it was just pure energy where hustle creates turnovers and we got baskets or got to the basket and got fouled,” said Charlottesville coach Jim Daly. “That sent us into halftime with a good boost.”
After a 5-0 start from the Black Knights, the Mustangs answered with a 10-5 ebb and flow to knot things up 10-10 going into the second quarter as Camille Blaine and Saryah Hughes got goin.. Things stayed their up until 16-16 midway through the second until a 9-0 run led largely at the free throw line for Charlottesville made it 25-16 going into the break with Jess Antwi leading the way with seven of her 15 points and three of four foul shooting in the second frame.
“That gave us great confidence because we felt like we were acting sluggish at first,” Antwi said.
The Black Knights went up comfortably at 35-21 midway through the third quarter when T.C. Younger drilled one of her trio of 3-pointers. Charlottesville was able to keep things even the next four minutes and head into the fourth quarter with a 41-27 lead.
Monticello made a fourth quarter push and it came early in the period. With Blaine getting points in the paint and Hugher knocking down a 3-pointer with 4:11 to go, it was a 43-35 game.
“I told them they just have to keep working on the little things and stop just jacking up shots,” said Monticello coach Juwahn Smith. “We have to play our game, not anyone else’s. A lot of teams aren’t as long or lengthy as we are and so we’re trying to work on that making it work for us and I think we’re getting there. We just have to keep working on that.”
However, Charlottesville responded with back-to-back buckets led by Antwi on defense and offense and a steal and layup from her made it 47-35.
“It was kind of tough at the same time because (Monticello) had good defense as well,” Antwi said. “I feel like our ladies, we kept pushing through and going and going..”
Things were even the rest of the way with the Mustangs unable to get an open look from outside and the Black Knights milking the clock the rest of the way to ice a 50-41 win.
Antwi led the way offensively for Charlottesville with her 15 points, six of them coming in the fourth. Younger had 12 points paced by her trio of three’s. But Charlottesville’s depth led the way with eight different scorers also getting in the book to make up for the rest of the 23 points and with the balance really showing over those next eight as the three closest to Antwi and Younger each had four points.
“We just noticed that we had 10 different players score and we’ve been talking about that our strength will be our depth,” Daly said. “We have to keep emphasizing that when you’re on the court, you give your hardest and so does the next girl. We don’t want anyone cruising through minutes.”
For the Mustangs, Hugher had a team high of 13 points while Blaine finished with 11. Hannah Shifflett had four points with all of them in the second half.
Monticello hosts Douglas Freeman next while Charlottesville has Orange County, both on Tuesday.