If fans were expecting an offensive explosion when the Tattnall Square and Stratford girls basketball teams met Friday night, they could tell after the first possession that they were going to be disappointed.
The Eaglettes held the ball for a full two minutes before turning the ball over on the opening possession, and that set the tone for the game.
Things did pick up just enough for Tattnall, however, as it earned a 36-22 win. Ivey Slaughter scored 15 points and grabbed 13 rebounds to lead the way.
“We were prepared for a physical game,” said Slaughter, who is in her first season at Tattnall after starring at Crawford County. “We really like to play more of an up-tempo game, but they slowed us down and made us work. I had always heard about the rivalry between these two schools, so it was great to play in my first one. I don’t mind physical games at all. It’s just basketball.”
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Stratford had only three field goals in the first half and only eight for the entire game but kept the game close with a great defensive effort. The Eaglettes cut the Tattnall lead to nine late in the third quarter on a Harbor Hicks basket, but Elizabeth Wainwright’s basket and free throw pushed the Tattnall lead back 12 heading into the final quarter, which was just too much for the Eaglettes to overcome.
“We lose here, and we are 0-2 in the region,” Tattnall head coach Todd Whetsel said. “It was a game we had to have, and we played well enough to win. I was disappointed that we turned the ball over 13 times in the second half, but a lot of that is because Stratford plays so hard.
Caroline Avant led Stratford with eight points, and Hicks and Catherine Chambless each added six. Wainwright had 10 for Tattnall.
“We got a much better defensive effort (Friday),” Stratford head coach Ed Smith said. “We wanted to keep the tempo to our liking and hit some shots. Unfortunately we didn’t hit many shots. I just think it is a work in progress, and we will get better every game.”
The Stratford boys avoided the home sweep with a 49-45 win. Tattnall overcame a nine-point halftime deficit to take the lead at 45-44, but Quintez Cephus gave Stratford the lead for good on a driving layup with a minute left in the game. Garrett Scarborough scored 21 to lead the Eagles while Conner Alford led Tattnall with 16.