Jan. 6—Washington defeated a pesky Pike Central team 61-39 at the Hatchet House as the Lady Hatchets remained in the hunt for the Pocket Athletic Conference title.
Washington (11-6, 7-1) trailed Pike Central (2-14, 1-7) early, including 9-8 at the 4:00 minute mark of the first quarter. But Aubrey Frank, who led the Lady Hatchets with 15 points, was fouled in the act on a 3-point attempt and knocked down all three charity tosses to give WHS an 11-9 lead. That started a 13-0 WHS run to the end of the quarter, which saw the Lady Hatchets leading 21-9. Coach Gretchen Miles' team extended that lead to 37-15 at the half as Washington outscored Pike Central 29-6 over a span of 10:30 to end the first half.
Washington got its defense going, forcing 16 Lady Charger turnovers in the first half, a figure that would reach 27 Pike miscues by games end.
Pike Central did claim the third quarter 16-7 to pull to within 44-312 after three quarters of play. But Katie Reed, who was next behind Frank with 14 points, scored seven points in the final stanza as WHS pulled away for the win.
Washington was 9-13 from the free throw line in the fourth quarter, with Reed knocking down 5-6. Overall, Reed was 8-9 from the line and combined with Olivia Gilley, who netted 11 points, to give Miles a formidable inside presence.
"I really thought it was good to see Olivia Gilley get a double-double tonight. That kid, has been really working on rebounding, especially getting more offensive rebounds," said Miles, whose team pulled down 12 offensive rebounds. "She had three or four tonight. She just crashed the boards and did the things to keep her involved in the game. She also finished well tonight.
"Aubrey Frank shot the ball well, especially early in the game to get us going, to get that momentum going and spread the gap in the first half," added Miles of Frank, who hit a trio of 3-pointers in the first quarter. "And Katie Reed. As soon as she gets the decision making quicker, she is going to be a force to be reckoned with around the basket on every possession. She's strong, she rebounds well, she's physical, she's a do whatever it takes kind of kid."
Washington finds itself in the middle of three conference games this week after a win over Southridge on Tuesday. And while the win over Pike Central wasn't perhaps the prettiest win, it leaves Washington as just one of five teams in the conference with one league loss as the season enters its final month of action.
"We went cold a little bit in the second half, but give our kids credit too, when you don't have that good taste in your mouth about how you played — and credit a lot of that to Pike — but you still find a way to win by 20, you just have to be thankful that you won, stayed healthy, and move on," said Miles.
The Lady Hatchets placed 10 players in the scoring column, including four points each by Shay Hawk, Ella Williams, and Hayleigh Cummins, three points from Madi Dalton, and two points each by Chloe Browning and Kyra Shuckman.
Brailey Mills topped the Lady Chargers with 14 points, followed by 11 from Anna Whitehead.
Washington also claimed the JV game 67-19. Garland led WHS with 14 points, followed by 10 apiece from Maddy Johnson and Keagan Byrer. Schuckman and Dalton were next with eight points each, followed by six points from Maliyah Thorne, five from Williams, and three points each by Breah Eskew and Izzie Howell.
Washington travels to Princeton for another PAC game on Saturday.