Plays down stretch lift WSN girls past Northview

Published 11:34 pm Wednesday, December 13, 2006

By BY BRUCE HIXON – sports editor
It was not the number of plays the W.S. Neal Lady Blue Eagles made that put them over the top. It was when they made them that produced Monday's 38-35 road win over the Northview, Fla. Lady Chiefs.
W.S. Neal (3-3) overcame 24 turnovers and 22 missed free throws, as it got back to the .500 mark for the first time in two weeks.
One of W.S. Neal's biggest challenges was finding a way to slow down Northview guard Gabe Wesley. Wesley scored 13 of her team's 16 first half points and finished with a game-high 21.
It was pretty much Wesley by herself who kept the Lady Chiefs in front nearly the entire first half. Wesley had eight of Northview's nine first quarter points on three field goals and two free throws, as the Lady Chiefs opened up a 9-6 lead through one period.
W.S. Neal, which hit just two of 10 shots from the floor in the opening frame, took its only lead of the first half early in the second quarter when two free throws by Katie Elliott put the Lady Blue Eagles ahead 11-9.
Wesley quickly put her team back in front, as she had two field goals and a pair of free throws during the last three minutes of the first half to put the Lady Chiefs up 16-14 at halftime.
The Lady Blue Eagles slowed Wesley down in the third quarter and limited her to just one free throw until she made her only shot from the floor with 19 seconds left in the quarter.
W.S. Neal took advantage of that time frame to move in front, as a three-pointer by Tierra Andrews tied the game at 21-21 and two buckets and a free throw by Tiara Matthews put the Lady Blue Eagles up 26-21.
Only one point remained of that cushion when W.S. Neal took a 26-25 lead into the fourth quarter. The final frame was a seesaw, as the lead exchanged hands six times.
Northview took its last lead with 2:38 left when two free throws by Brittany Thompson put the Lady Chiefs up 35-34.
Andrews gave the Lady Blue Eagles the lead, this time for good, when she stole the ball underneath the W.S. Neal basket and scored to put the visitors up 36-35 with 1:47 left.
Northview, which hit just 14 of 29 free throws, missed out on its best chance to regain the lead when Wanda Knight missed two charity tosses with 1:13 left.
W.S. Neal, which hit just 13 of 35 free throws, got one free throw by Andrews with 16 seconds left that extended the lead to 37-35 and another one from Freida Folmar with seven seconds left that made it 38-35.
At Northview
W.S. Neal 6 8 12 12 - 38
Northview 9 7 9 10 - 35
W.S. NEAL (2FG-3FG-FT-TP) Matthews 5-0-2-12; Andrews 2-1-2-9; Folmar 0-0-5-5; Elliott 1-0-2-4; Davis 1-0-1-3; Thomas 1-0-1-3; Alexander 1-0-0-2 (Totals: 11-1-13-38)
NORTHVIEW (2FG-3FG-FT-TP) Wesley 7-1-4-21; Garrett 1-0-4-6; Thompson 0-0-3-3; Knight 1-0-1-3; Marshall 0-0-2-2 (Totals: 9-1-14-35)

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