POWHATAN – Sophomore Faith Henderson double-doubled with 20 points and 13 rebounds, added 4 steals and netted multiple clutch shots to help her Powhatan Indians overcome a turnover-laden night to deny Douglas Freeman’s multiple surges for a 51-44 triumph.
In addition to reiterating the need for improvement when it comes to taking care of the basketball, head coach Kristy Henderson said the team has to improve in its half-court sets on offense. But she added: “I think overall we got really confident tonight with breaking their press and scoring in transition, which we haven’t been doing.”
Sophomore Kayla Terry chipped in 11 points behind Faith, and versatile multisport athlete and senior Michala Taylor delivered 8 points, 8 rebounds, 4 steals and 2 blocks. Senior Reese Vandell scored 8 points and was key in helping Powhatan pull away from Freeman at the end of both halves. Junior Sophie Dolan in the first quarter made two long drives down the right side off of rebounds to set up a layup by Faith and a jumper by Terry to help Powhatan keep close behind Freeman, who at that point had taken an early-game lead.
And Logan Anthony, Coach Henderson said, just keeps getting better.
“She’s really giving us what we’re looking for,” she said of Anthony. “She’s quick on defense, she’s taking care of the basketball, she’s making great passes and she’s one that doesn’t make turnovers…in the time that she’s playing. She did a good job.” Anthony added 2/2 shooting from the free-throw line in the third quarter.
Inside presence Grace Moore led Freeman on Friday with 17 points. She also scored seven of her team’s first 9 to help put the visitors ahead for most of the first quarter.
Powhatan battled back from early shooting struggles as Terry, Taylor and Henderson combined to shoot five-for-six from the line against a deep three-pointer made by Freeman's Athena-Kate Canavos to cut the visitors’ advantage down to 14-12.
After Faith’s visit to the charity stripe, Powhatan’s defense clamped down on Freeman’s drive to force the ball back into the Indians’ hands, and Taylor put-back the tying layup. Within seconds, Henderson nabbed a steal off the press and completed the quick trip to the basket to push her team ahead 16-14 at first quarter’s end.
Freeman surged past the Indians on a 7-0 run in the second, but Powhatan grabbed-back the lead as Terry hit two off of Vandell’s assist, and Henderson put-back two before Vandell added 4 straight points, including 3 on a shot from behind the arc, to help give Powhatan a multi-possession lead going into the second half.
Powhatan’s young team flexed its depth in the third quarter to take a double-digit advantage, but Freeman, sparked by Moore, chipped back to cut the home team’s advantage down to 4 with 3:07 to play. That’s when Faith drove to the basket off a rebound and netted a contested layup; not long after that, she and Vandell shot a combined 6/6 from the line – with Vandell making 4/4 – to keep the lead out of Freeman’s reach.
The young team’s overall lack of varsity court experience has played a role in its early-season struggles with turnovers.
“When we have a lead like that, we really need to learn how to keep it and not panic and feel that pressure and then just let it get the best of us,” Coach Henderson said. “I think that’s going to come with more special situations like a game like tonight again, and learning from it and practicing.”
Powhatan (3-3) has begun its two-week break and will return to the court in 2020 with a home matchup against George Wythe on Monday, Jan. 6.