Wake Forest-Rolesville girls claw past Knightdale

WF-R righted its ship for a big win over Knightdale

amoody@newsobserver.comDecember 21, 2012 

Wake Forest-Rolesville's Tatyana Jackson drives between Knightdale's Alexis Graham, left, and Jasmine Johnson during their Thursday, Dec. 20, 2012 game in Knightdale. The Cougars defeated the Knights 52-32.

AARON MOODY — amoody@newsobserver.com

— Wake Forest-Rolesville’s girls made up for a 2-point first quarter with three straight periods of scoring 15 or more points as they defeated Knightdale 52-32 on Thursday.

The Knights (2-8, 0-1 Greater Neuse River 4A) opened up an 11-2 lead after the Cougars hit just one of eight shot attempts in the opening period. Rakayla Person and Mikaya Wilson kept the Knights marching forward as they combined for five unanswered points to start the second quarter, but from that point onward Wake Forest-Rolesville looked like a completely different team.

“I think we got here and we weren’t ready to play – bottom line,” Cougars coach Amy Sarratt said. “I called a timeout and I said, ‘We’re alright. We’ve just got to play defense.’ We came back out and turned it around.”

The Cougars (5-3, 1-1 Cap 8 4A) knocked down nine of 11 field goal attempts in the second quarter as they outscored Knightdale 18-7.

A jumper by Kenyata Harris, and the steal and layup by Ayauna Morton that followed pulled Wake Forest-Rolesville within three points of the Knights. Another basket by Kiara Jones Doctor cut the Cougars’ deficit to one point with two minutes left in the first half.

A Harris layup gave Wake Forest-Rolesville its first lead of the game with 10 seconds remaining in the half, and the Cougars went into the locker room on top, 20-18.

Wake Forest-Rolesville began the third quarter with a 12-2 run. By the start of the fourth quarter, they had amassed a 15-point cushion the Knights would never break.

While Sarratt said the rally was the result of her players waking up, Knightdale coach Anthony Byrd blamed himself for the abrupt way the lead changed hands over the second and third quarters.

“Like I told the team, I think I did a bad job in my substitution patterns at that time in the game,” Byrd said. “In the beginning, we had some rhythm and the kids were working real hard, but they were going so hard that legs were getting tired. That’s when I went with the substitution, and I thought we just left that second group in there too long.

“We tried to let some players who have started for us in the past get back in the game, but it just didn’t work out well in the end.”

Three Cougars scored in double figures in the game, including Morton with 12 points, and Tatyana Jackson and Jones Doctor with 11 points each.

Only one Knightdale player, Lovely Locklear, crossed the double-digit plane in scoring. Persia Brown matched Locklear’s 11 points with as many rebounds as the Knights recorded their fifth straight loss.

Sarratt considered the win a must-have for Wake Forest-Rolesville, a team that won one of four outings leading up to the game against Knightdale.

“We needed this win,” she said. “It was very important. We’ve got a Christmas tournament coming up, and we need the confidence.”

Moody: 919-829-4806

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