WT: Coles 9.
OM: Awkward 11, Thomas 5, Thompson 4, Harris 3.


WT: Coles 2.
OM: Thomas 3, Awkward 2, Peters 2.

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WT: 21
OM: 15

Field goals

WT: 10
OM: 13

Free throws

WT: 11-16
OM: 5-12

Wilde Lake rallies from 15 down for stunning win

When the final buzzer sounded, the collective mood of the Wilde Lake girls basketball team's was remarkably different from what it had been just an hour earlier.

The Wildecats were feeling low after trailing by 14 points at halftime of their semifinal round game against Watkins Mill on Thursday afternoon. But Wilde Lake was able to celebrate a frantic comeback as it beat the Wolverines, 43-40.

“At halftime we told them that we had to do two things — break the press and play with heart because they were really outhustling us,” Wildecats coach Caitlin Williams said.

The players followed her instructions and played with renewed sense of meaning in the second half.

Watkins Mills took a commanding lead in the second quarter thanks to its full-court press that really gave the Wilde Lake guards trouble. The Wolverines forced nine turnovers in the frame and turned them into easy fast break points. By halftime, their advantage had ballooned to 35-21.

“At halftime all we talked about was breaking the press and playing with heart,” senior captain Kourtney Harrison said. “That was all that it was going to take. Either we were or we weren’t. There was a simple line in between. Coach let us have some time to talk amongst ourselves and we really let each other know how it was.”

Watkins Mills opened the third quarter with a made free throw and pushed its lead to 15, the largest of the game. However, things soon turned in the Wildecats’ favor on both ends of the court.

Guards Rachel Lazris, Grayson Corbett and Brynn Drury solved the press and alertly passed out of the pressure to create good shots for their teammates. Then, the defense turned up its own pressure and limited the Wolverines to just three points in the quarter while forcing seven turnovers.

Watkins Mill quickly began to get into foul trouble and set Wilde Lake up in the bonus for most of the second half.