A couple years of growing pains might be starting to pay off for the West Johnston girls’ basketball team.
Cleveland, meanwhile, hopes to cash in on the same investment.
The veteran Wildcats forced a young Cleveland team into a game of catch-up Wednesday night and ran their record to 4-1 with a 46-35 win over the visiting Rams. est Johnston went a combined 13-32 the previous two seasons.
With four of the top six players in the rotation now seniors – and eight seniors on an 11-player roster –the Wildcats are relishing their winning ways.
After sprinting to a 26-10 lead, the Wildcats were suddenly forced back on their heels when Cleveland bridged the second and third quarters with a 15-4 run that trimmed the West Johnston lead to just five points nearing the end of the third quarter.
Unfazed, the Wildcats regained control in the final period thanks in part to a 12-for-15 showing from the free throw line.
“I thought we played well in the first half; the second half we got a little lackadaisical,” West Johnston coach Bill Pepicello said. “Some of that is tiredness. We’re still not in the shape we want to be in.”
“We’ve been talking all year about when we get knocked down we get back up,” Cleveland coach Chris Danehower said. “It’s always one quarter that gets us.”
For West Johnston, the time to win is now with a veteran cast that has been through it all.