POWHATAN – Goochland girls’ basketball rallied out of a 14-point deficit to challenge host team Powhatan for the lead and the win in the closing moments, but Kayla Terry’s 2 clutch points from the line and a combined 39 total points from Faith Henderson and Sophie Dolan helped the Indians fend off the Bulldogs 66-62.
“We’re still learning to play together and gel and trust each other, so that’s coming with time,” Powhatan head coach Kristy Henderson said after Monday’s game. “But we definitely got better in that special situation tonight, handling that and coming out with the win.”
While she noted her team’s struggles with taking care of the basketball and committing turnovers, she said that, defensively, her players did a good job containing the Bulldogs in the last minutes.
Faith Henderson tapped into a rhythm early to make plays from end-to-end. After she capped a defensive rebound from Michala Taylor to net the first two points of the game, the sophomore hauled in a board of her own to set up a teammate’s jumper before landing two points in the paint off a crowd-pleasing spin move later in the first quarter. Faith ended Monday’s game with the double-double on a game-high 21 points and 14 rebounds.
“I feel like, as the season goes on, the more she’s playing, the more confident she’s going to get, too,” Coach Henderson said of Faith.
Goochland in the first quarter countered Powhatan’s fast start with a 9-0 run, anchored by buckets from the tallest player the Indians have seen so far this season in six-foot-1 Victoria Lopez. The run also featured a three-pointer from Emmy Paulin plus two go-ahead free throws from Ahmani Quarles off a drive set up by Gabby Ragone’s steal.
But Faith swished a clean jumper through the net near the end of the first quarter and turned a defensive rebound into a layup at the top of the second to keep the game tight. Dolan then strung together a pair of buckets to send the Indians back into the lead, where they stayed. She received a pass from Gabby Dintino, then turned and lasered in the mid-distance jumper from left of the basket for the go-ahead points. Twice in the quarter, she grabbed away two Goochland defensive boards and turned the two takeaways into baskets for her team.
"That was fun, and that's exciting," Coach Henderson said. "That's good basketball."
Dolan finished with 18 points and 4 steals, and she added a couple of offensive rebounds.
“She’s always been a very good shooter, and when she’s open and she knocks it down, that’s definitely a confidence booster,” Coach Henderson said of Dolan.
Senior post player Michala Taylor in the second half succeeded at keeping the ball out to get her shooters some open shots; she delivered 3 assists along with 6 rebounds and delivered a 6-point burst in the third quarter.
Ragone strung together back-to-back layups off a pair of steals in a 7-0 run for Goochland near the end of the third quarter, and Lopez surged with 9 points in the fourth to help slash the Indians’ lead all the way down to 2 points in the closing seconds.
But with 7.5 seconds to play, Terry drew the foul, and the sophomore headed to the line. She knocked down both free throws to stretch the lead beyond one possession and cap a final quarter that saw her net 8 of her 11 game points to go along with her 7 assists. She was able to drive for a couple of her late buckets against one-on-one defense from Ragone, who’s also her AAU teammate.
Goochland’s top scorers were Lopez (19 points), Ragone (16) and Paulin (13), the latter of whom knocked down a trio of three-pointers in Monday’s game.
Goochland (3-4) is now on break, and will return in 2020 to play at Prince Edward on Jan. 6.
Powhatan (2-3) will host Douglas Freeman on Friday, Dec. 20 at 7 p.m. For the upcoming matchup, Coach Henderson spoke to the team doing a little bit better job containing, closing out on the shooters and boxing out on missed shots.