The cavernous backdrop of the Berglund Center can cause problems for shooters more accustomed to high school gymnasiums.
William Fleming’s shooters didn’t have much problem, however, as the Colonels sank eight 3-pointers en route to a 50-39 win over crosstown rival Patrick Henry in the girls basketball game for the Mayor’s Cup at the Leas Winter Classic on Saturday.
After leading by 15 in the first half, Fleming saw its lead cut to just one point in the fourth quarter. That’s when the Colonels caught fire from outside . Jermiya Ollie hit the first bomb.
Moneshia Wright pulled the Patriots back to within two, but Shakara Anderson dropped in a trey from the right corner, then Lanie Bethel made two straight from the same spot, right in front of the Fleming bench, to push the Colonels lead back to nine with just over two minutes to play.
“We didn’t fold,” said Fleming coach Richard Wilson. “It was just one of those games where you can’t break. Have to stay mentally strong. It came together for us.”
Wilson said he told his shooters to keep shooting.
“I told Lanie Bethel to stay confident, stay ready and let it fly,” Wilson said. “She’s been shooting well all year. Luckily she found her spots late in the fourth quarter.”
All four of Bethel’s field goals came from 3-point land. She ended with 14 points.
In a statistical anomaly, Fleming (10-2) shot 36.3 percent from beyond the arc and just 15.6 percent from inside. The Colonels made only five 2-point buckets, all coming in the paint.
PH (7-4) struggled from the floor. The Patriots shot 28 percent overall , but just 10.5 percent from beyond the arc (2-for-19).
Wilson said the Patriots had an advantage in the open court in their win over the Colonels in December. Fleming made a defensive change to pull the defenders closer to the basket.
“We wanted to try something different,” Wilson said. “We were trying to make it a half-court game, keep the ball out of their main shooters hands and make some other people beat us.”
PH coach Mike Hedrick said the Colonels’ zone caused hit team problems.
“They zoned us up and we acted like we’ve never seen it before,” Hedrick said. “I thought they might do that, but we didn’t handle it.”
Hedrick said the loss is on his shoulders.
“I’ve got to do a better job coaching,” he said. “I love my team and I told them I wouldn’t trade them for anyone, but I was disappointed in the basketball IQ we displayed tonight and ultimately that’s on me as a coach.”
Anderson led all scorers with 20 points and 11 rebounds. She was 10-for-12 from the free throw line.
PH’s front line of Wright at center and Savannah Derey at power forward had matching stat lines of 13 points and 14 boards.
WILLIAM FLEMING (10-2)
Board 2 0-4 5, Bethel 4 2-2 14, Battle 1 0-0 2, Anderson 4 10-12 20, Fitzgerald 1 0-0 2, Ollie 1 4-4 7. Totals 13 16-22 50.
PATRICK HENRY (7-4)
Derey 6 1-4 13, Wright 6 1-2 13, Fiddler 2 2-2 8, Gunn 1 1-2 3, Thomas 0 0-0 0, Childress 0 0-0 0, Ackerson 0 2-2 2, Drakeford 0 0-0 0, Breedlove 1 0-0 2. Totals 16 5-11 39.
WILLIAM FLEMING 13 15 4 18 — 50
PATRICK HENRY 3 10 12 14 — 39
3-point goals — William Fleming 8 (Bethel 4, Anderson 2, Ollie, Board), Patrick Henry 2 (Fiddler 2). Total fouls — William Fleming 11, Patrick Henry 19, Fouled out — Derey.