For much of their battle with Barnwell High on Dec. 16, the Williston-Elko High varsity girls couldn't shake their pesky in-county rivals.
However, a pressing defense and a more controlled approach offensively in the second half did the trick as WEHS pulled away for a 52-34 win.
At the start of second half, the Lady Blue Devils proved to be too much for the Lady Warhorses as they quickly turned a one point lead into a 28-16 lead with 1:31 left in the third quarter.
With the win, Williston-Elko High improves to 2-2 in the standings.
"We didn't come out with a lot of intensity," W-E coach Eva Strong said. We were just standing around waiting for something to happen," Strong said. "In the second half, we played with a lot more energy."
For the Lady Blue Devils, a balanced offensive attack was instrumental in the turnaround as a season high four players scored in double digits. Defensively, the Lady Blue Devils collected a season high 18 steals.
One player who really stood out for the Lady Blue Devils was shooting guard Ciera Smith.
Offensively, Smith broke down the Lady Warhorses defense with her dribble penetration. Defensively, she was a key component in the full court press. Smith recorded a career high 17 points, including 12 points in the fourth quarter, 10 steals and six assists.
"I can't remember Ciera (Smith) playing a better game than she did tonight. She was all over the court making plays and creating opportunities for her teammates," Strong said.
Also having solid performances for the Lady Blue Devils were Zori Green, Octavia Mack and Keke Parker.
Green, who led the team with nine assists, finished with 13 points, including two three-pointers and four steals. Mack, who plays the center position was strong in the interior with 13 points, 11 rebounds and two blocked shots. Parker contributed 10 points, including two three-pointers, five steals and three rebounds.
For Barnwell High, Alexis Avila led with 12 points and five steals. Sharita Wright had a good, all-around game with nine points, 10 rebounds and three steals. Jeneka Williams had six points and five steals. Ashley Williams added four points and six steals.
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