With Morgan Long and Julie Anne Bradley both out for the season, the Stratford girls have to count on defensive effort to win games.
That was never more evident than Friday night in Stratford’s game with Tattnall Square, as the Eaglettes forced 29 turnovers and held the Lady Trojans to 25 percent shooting for a 36-26 win. Harbor Hicks scored a career high 15 points and grabbed 12 rebounds.
“I think it was a great win for us,” said Hicks, who is a junior. “I know I am getting more comfortable every game, and we are really trying to get the ball inside more. Sloan Sibley and all the guards are doing a great job of getting me the ball, and I just have to be able to score when I get it.”
Tattnall, which played without leading scorer and rebounder Ivey Slaughter, who is also out for the year with a knee injury, never got going offensively. After the game was tied at 8 after the first quarter, the Lady Trojans went seven minutes without scoring in the second quarter and trailed 14-10 at the half.
“Yes I was worried,” Stratford head coach Ed Smith said. “We had a chance to put some distance on them in the first half, and we come out of it with a four-point lead. We knew what they are capable of even without Ivey. We just wanted to keep doing what we had been doing, and we hoped that we could make some shots.”
Tattnall cut the Stratford lead to one at 14-13 in the first minute of the third quarter on an Anna Dooley 3-pointer, but Stratford responded with an 11-2 run. Catherine Chambless had five of those points, and Sibley had three steals.
Tattnall once again cut into the lead, getting to within six at 28-22 on a Kayla Steele basket, but Hicks took over, scoring eight points in the quarter to go with four rebounds.
Stratford outrebounded the Lady Trojans 28-14 and got to the free-throw line 26 times compared to only five for Tattnall.
“I think it’s all about getting comfortable with who we have on the court and playing hard all the time,” said Sibley, who scored three points and had six steals and five assists. “We believe that we can win some basketball games, and we feel like we are getting better every game.”
Steele led Tattnall with nine points, while Lane Bowden had eight for Stratford.
Stratford improves to 11-6 and 3-3 in GISA Region 2-AAA, while the Lady Trojans drop to 14-5 and 3-3.
The Stratford boys also were able to get a win on the road with a 50-42 decision. The Eagles had three players in double figures with Quintez Cephus scoring 14 to lead the way. Greer Smith added 11, and Tyler Payne had 10. Tattnall was led by Conner Alford with 16.