WEST CHESTER – The Wayne girls varsity basketball team tipped off the 2017-2018 season Saturday and Sunday at the ‘Journey to the Tourney’ at Lakota West High School.
The Lady Warriors opened with a 54-42 victory Saturday over Gilmour Academy from Gates Mills, Ohio. Freshman guard Aubryanna Hall scored 19 points including a trio of 3-pointers and sophomore guard Nyla Hampton tallied 14 with a pair of treys to pace the Wayne attack.
“That was huge getting points from Hall and Hampton because we don’t have a lot,” said Wayne Coach Travis Trice. “A lot of what we are doing right now is competing. We have some girls that are injured and some girls that have been out of action. Nyla has only been back playing for about a week and has been out for about three weeks with some stiffness and soreness around her knee so she is not in playing shape yet. I thought we stepped up and Kyra Willis did a great job guarding Hillmon in the post and I thought we defended the perimeter pretty well and we were aggressive offensively on top of that. I was really proud of the way we fought and competed.”
Naz Hillmon led the Lady Lancers with 20 points.
Sunday was a different story when Wayne went down in flames to Hamilton Heights Christian Academy of Chattanooga, Tennessee by the lopsided score of 62-29. The Lady Hawks were led by a true to life Amazon woman in 6-foot, 7-inch center Kamilla Cardoso, a native of Brazil, who tossed in 21 points and had six rebounds. Elizabeth Balogun had 15 points and seven rebounds and Jazmine Massengill added 13 points and nine rebounds to lead Hamilton Heights.
No Wayne player scored in double figures against the lanky Lady Hawks. Olivia Trice scored eight points to lead the Lady Warriors, but Wayne had difficulty achieving dribble penetration against Hamilton Heights. When they did getting off a clean shot was rare. Wayne shot a dismal 27 percent in the first half and only 20 percent in the second half when the Lady Warriors tried to shoot from the perimeter. On the other hand Hamilton Heights shot 46 percent in the first half and a blistering 61 percent in the second half to post a 33 point win. The Lady Hawks snared 37 rebounds while Wayne managed 23.
When Trice was asked how anyone could defend a player as tall as Cardoso, he said it boils down to competing.
“You compete and that is a word we are going to be using a lot,” Trice said. “Obviously she is a good player and she has good players around her. Game plan wise you can’t compete with the height part of it, but you compete with her lower body and defend her the right way. That was more of my frustration was that we didn’t defend the right way early on. Hats off to them. Cardoso is I’m sure a high Division I prospect, but for me it was about how we competed.”
Making the switch from coaching the Wayne boys basketball team to the girls should prove interesting for the veteran coach. Trice coached his sons and now gets to coach daughter Oliva, a junior guard, which is a nice opportunity.
“She might think otherwise about that,” Trice joked. “She has to hear a lot more and hear my voice a lot more being in practice with me and those kinds of things, but she is going to be all right. She has to learn how to compete and we have to continue to get stronger as a team, get focused and get in better shape. It is going to be a fun year. I am excited about these girls. Again, it’s just a matter of us getting in some things and the girls understanding what I am asking of them and them being able to perform it.”
WAY 06 15 29 29 – 29
HAM 24 32 48 62 – 62
Wayne: Nyla Hampton 5, Aubryanna Hall 2, Kyra Willis 3, Jaida Wolfork 4, Olivia Trice 8, Maya Dunson 2, Lovie Malone 5. Totals: 11-3-29.
Hamilton Heights: Jazmine Massengill 13, Elizabeth Balogun 15, Ruth Balogun 5, Marta Rodrigues 4, Paola Martinez 4, Kamilla Cardoso 21. Totals: 25-7-62.
3-point goals: Wayne 4 (Trice 2, Hampton, Malone), Hamilton Heights 5 (Massengill 3, E. Balogun, R. Balogun).
Records: Wayne 1-1, Hamilton Heights 4-0.
Reach Ron Nunnari at 684-9124, via email Rnunnari@AimMediaMidwest.com or on Twitter @Englewood_Ind