A strong defensive effort led the Waverly Lady Tigers to their second straight basketball win in back-to-back days.

The Lady Tigers played an unusual Tuesday game, Nov. 26, and entertained the visiting Hillsboro Lady Indians, winning in narrow fashion, 37-33.

“Our defense carried us again tonight,” said Waverly coach John Bonifield.

“Playing back to back games is challenging and we found a way to win both games. I’m proud of the girls and the toughness and commitment to defense they have shown early in the season. We found a win and that’s all that matters in the end.”

It was a very slow start for the Lady Tigers offensively, as Zoiee Smith connected on the lone three-pointer to account for all of the scoring in the first quarter. Yet, Waverly’s defense was up to the task, limiting Hillsboro to just eight points, making the score 8-3 at the end of one.

Still working to get the offense started, Waverly junior Michaela Rhoads produced Waverly’s lone field goal in the second quarter. The other three points came from the line as Kelli Stewart, Zoiee Smith and Paige Carter each hit a foul shot. Once again, the defense was stout. The Lady Tigers trailed by six points at the break, 14-8.

“In the second half, we were able to get into our press and create turnovers,” said Bonifield. “Paige (Carter) and Carli (Knight) stepped up and made big plays when we needed them. This gave us energy that we didn’t play with in the first half.”

Carter led the offensive attack for Waverly in the third quarter, scoring eight of her team’s 17 points with four buckets. Rhoads contributed four points, adding two buckets. Knight had another bucket, while Zoiee Smith hit a pair of free throws. Stewart was also able to get to the foul line, hitting 1-of-2. At that point, Waverly had outscored Hillsboro 17-13, which cut the lead to 27-25.

The offense and defense saw the Lady Tigers complete the comeback in the fourth quarter, outscoring Hillsboro 12-6. Carter and Knight each had a pair of baskets. Lydia Brown added another to crack the scoring column. Smith finished it with a pair of free throws. All of that effort added up to a 37-33 win.

Carter led the way with 13 points and eight rebounds. Smith produced eight points, seven assists and two rebounds. Knight added six points and three steals. Rhoads also had six points. Stewart had two points, two rebounds and two steals, while Brown had two points, two rebounds and a steal.

The Lady Tigers will be back at home on Monday, Dec. 2 to take on South Webster.

HHS - 8 6 13 6 - 33

WHS - 3 5 17 12 - 37

HILLSBORO (33) — Grace Dean 0 0 0-0 0, Kaden Watson 1 0 0-0 2, Sinai Roberts 0 0 0-0 0, Josie Hopkins 4 0 1-2 9, Mallory Parsons 0 0 0-0 0, Karliegh Hopkins 2 1 6-8 13, Mya Bell 0 0 0-0 0, Bryanna Bledsoe 1 1 0-2 5, Jaden Moberly 0 0 0-0 0, Jorden Moberly 2 0 0-0 4, Christine Page 0 0 0-0 0, TOTALS 10 2 7-12 33.

WAVERLY (37) — Kelli Stewart 0 0 2-4 2, Carli Knight 3 0 0-1 6, Michaela Rhoads 3 0 0-0 6, Lydia Brown 1 0 0-0 2, Raelynn Dale 0 0 0-0 0, Delaney Tackett 0 0 0-0 0, Zoiee Smith 0 1 5-9 8, Sarah Thompson 0 0 0-0 0, Paige Carter 6 0 1-3 13, TOTALS 13 1 8-17 37.

Email at jbillings@newswatchman.com; follow on Twitter @ Julie_Billings

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