Home / Starr's Mill hoops teams sweep Whitewater
Starr's Mill hoops teams sweep Whitewater
The game between the Starr’s Mill and Whitewater varsity girls basketball teams wasn’t close, but the boys game made up for it.
The Lady Panthers (11-3) took a 17-7 lead by the end of the first quarter and outscored the Lady Wildcats 15-3 in the second quarter to lead 32-10 at the half. Whitewater played Starr’s Mill closer in the third quarter but the Lady Panthers had a 22-10 advantage in the final quarter, thanks in part to seven straight points for Katie Wilson at the beginning of the period. Wilson finished with 11 points and Lexie Pappas added 10 points in the win. Whitewater was led by 10 points from Jordan Barnett.
The key to the win, and Starr’s Mill’s success thus far, according to head coach Shane Ratliff, is defense.
“We create some traffic and havoc and make things uncomfortable for teams,” he said. The Lady Panthers thrived in the transition game on Tuesday night and Ratliff got contributions from all 11 members of his team. “We have a deep bench and can play any combination of them.”
The Lady Panthers will have a big test on Saturday when they host the McIntosh Lady Chiefs (13-1) at 6 p.m. The atmosphere at the Panther Pit will be electric as fans of both the girls and boys teams will pack the gym and give the games a playoff atmosphere.
Starr’s Mill’s boys, which lost to McIntosh twice last year on buzzer beaters, found themselves on the winning end of a last second win last night. The game got off to a slow start. The Panthers led the Wildcats 7-5 at the end of a sluggish first quarter. They trailed Whitewater 19-17 at the half and were behind by five points in the fourth quarter. The Wildcats kept Starr’s Mill in the game though with seven missed free throws in the final 90 seconds and Jeremiah Vrudny capitalized. The 6’6” junior got his own rebound after a missed shot in the final seconds and put the winning basket in as time expired.
“It was a great win against a great team,” said Starr’s Mill head coach Brandon Hutchins. “Our guys never gave up and I think they grew up a lot tonight.”
Will Anda led the Panthers (11-7) in scoring with 15 points, while Vrudny added 14 points. Darius Sharpe had 13 points for Whitewater, while Junaid Olusesi had 10 points.
Starr’s Mill is looking forward to their match with McIntosh (10-5) on Saturday night. The Chiefs have won eight of the last nine meetings between the two schools. Their last six meetings, dating back to 2009, have all been decided by single digit margins - many of them have come down to one possession.
If you’re interested in catching some exciting basketball this weekend, you won’t do any better than these games. Get there early and enjoy.