Young Lady Wolves shine in 47-44 win

  • Monday, January 14, 2013

The Timberland Lady Wolves are beginning to come of age. The young team hung on to down the Berkeley Lady Stags 47-44 in St. Stephen Saturday night.
With a roster stocked with eighth and ninth graders and the oldest member of the starting five just a sophomore, the Lady Wolves are beginning to win as the region portion of the 2012-2013 schedule is poised to begin.
The win improves Timberland to 5-7 and is the Lady Wolves’ third straight. The streak includes wins over Forsyth Country Day and the second victory of the season over Stratford.
Saturday’s win avenged a Dec. 14, 41-36 loss to the Lady Stags.
“We’re getting there,” said THS Coach Cleve Touchberry who had to start at square one following the Lady Wolves 2011 Class AA state championship.
After the 2011 season the Timberland cupboards were like Mother Hubbard’s. Bare.
With 11 graduating seniors, Touchberry had to reach into the middle school ranks to field a team for the 2011-2012 season in which the Lady Wolves did not win a game.
“I’m going to pay for that state championship,” Touchberry said last season.
In the game’s early going it looked as if the Lady Stags would run away, jumping out to a 9-4 first quarter lead and 20-14 lead heading into the locker room, but it was in the second half that Timberland caught fire.
In the first quarter Priscilla Washington’s pair of buckets gave Berkeley a quick 5-0 lead at the 5:32 mark.
Tori Ishmael’s pair of free throws closed the gap to 7-4 with less than a minute remaining in the quarter, but Jonnay Anthony put the exclamation point on the quarter with a running eight-footer at the buzzer to put the Lady Stags up 9-4.
The two teams traded buckets for much of the second quarter.
Ishmael’s layup pulled the Lady Wolves to within five at 11-6, at the 5:46 mark of the quarter. Washington replied for Berkeley with a layup to put the Lady Stags lead back to seven points at 13-16.
Layups by Ishmael and Dominique Hamilton pulled THS to within 18-14, but a 15-footer by Jill Funk as time ran down in the first half put BHS up 20-14 heading into the locker room.
Washington’s six points led Berkeley in the first half while Ishmael led all scorers with seven first half points.
In the second half, Timberland rallied in the third quarter to knot the score at 31-31.
Ishmael came out on fire, canning a long jumper to start the second half and pull her team to within three.
Washington answered dominating the paint with a put back to bring the Berkeley lead back to five, but Timberland’s Hamilton took over with a tip-in to close the lead to 30-27. With less than a minute remaining in the quarter a Hamilton basket closed the lead to one at 30-29.
After a Lady Stags free throw, Anastasia Kinlaw tied the score 31-31 to end the third quarter.
Hamilton gave the Lady Wolves the lead for the first time at the 6:42 mark of the fourth quarter, a lead that would grow to 37-31 before Ishmael fouled out with 4:27 remaining in the game. Ishmael finished with 12 points.
The Lady Stags rallied to tie the score at 39-39, but Washington followed Ishmael to the bench, fouling out with 2:12 left on the clock.
Washington led all scorers with 18 points.
A free throw and a put-back by Hamilton put THS on top 42-39 but a 3-point play by Funk would knot the score at 42-42 at the 1:54 mark.
The Lady Wolves took to the line, hitting free throws to go up 47-42 with 40 seconds remaining.
Donni Robinson’s pair of free throws with 7.9 seconds left closed the gap to three at 47-44, but a last second 3-point attempt by Berkeley’s Funk wouldn’t fall.  
In addition to Ishmael’s 13 points, Hamilton added 11 points to lead the Lady Wolves.
The Lady Stags fall to 3-8 but were winners of two straight with holiday tournament wins over Cross and Baptist Hill. Funk finished with seven points and Anthony six to help pace the Lady Stags.
In Timberland’s 47-37 win over Stratford Ishmael poured in 27 points to lead the Lady Wolves. Against Forsyth Country Day, a 49-44 win, Ishmael notched 23 points and Hamilton added 10.

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