In a Greater Neuse River 4A Conference girls basketball game between Garner and West Johnston Tuesday night, the Trojans’ Khayani Chandler and the Wildcats’ Jarmeia Holder’s impressive performances canceled each other out.
However, Holder had a little more help from her teammates as the Wildcats evened their conference record at 1-1 with a 62-46 road victory.
Holder led all scorers with 29 points, but it was Tanay Smith and her 14 points that helped to bolster the West Johnston offense.
Chandler ended her night with 27 points, but was the only Trojan that reached double digits on a night when Garner just couldn’t keep up with the Wildcats.
“That’s the hardest we’ve played,” West Johnston coach Bill Pepicello said. “They gave it everything they had and if we would just play that way the rest of the season, with that intensity, whether we win or lose, it wouldn’t matter.”
The Wildcats made 26 of their charity shots to gain a 19-point advantage in that category over Garner as the Trojans managed just 10 trips to the foul line, connecting on seven chances.
What didn’t work: Garner’s work rate. It seemed as though the Wildcats were a step ahead of their conference foes for much of the night be it to loose balls, rebounds or out in transition.
“I think we came out flat,” Garner coach Hardwick Mays said. “We got out-hustled, out-rebounded and were three steps behind them. They really were prepared for us and our girls never got anything rolling.”
“It was fun to watch,” said Pepicello. “They didn’t get down on themselves and they did the things we wanted them to do.”
“I just don’t have another scorer right now,” said Mays. “Everybody knows (Chandler) is my scorer so if they can take her out, they won’t have to worry about the others.”