By dinnertime Saturday, the Tattnall Square girls basketball team should learn of the second opponent it will face in its first appearance in the GHSA Class A private school playoffs.
Tattnall might have the chance to redeem one of its two losses, both of which took place early in the season. Or the Trojans might face their biggest rival for the fourth time this season.
“We could potentially play our rival again, or we could play a team that has beaten us before,” said Tattnall senior Haley Gordon in reference to Saturday’s Our Lady of Mercy-Stratford matchup. “It will be interesting.”
Our Lady of Mercy beat Tattnall in December. Tattnall beat Stratford twice in the regular season and then again in the Region 7-A tournament championship game.
No matter the opponent, a big game awaits Tattnall in Tuesday’s quarterfinals. The Trojans advanced to that game with a 69-54 victory Friday over Pinecrest, a game Tattnall dominated in the second half.
The Trojans (27-2) overcame a quick Pinecrest start, slowing the game down in the second half and opening up the post.
A team that averages 55 points per game, Tattnall was caught up in Pinecrest’s quick guard play early. Pinecrest, which put a much smaller lineup on the floor, pushed the pace, scoring the game’s first eight points and keeping things tight through the first half.
“Our guards are our strength,” Pinecrest head coach Ken Lacy said. “We don’t have the post players down low that (Tattnall) has. We run an up-tempo game, get people running up and down the floor. That’s our game, and it was working great there early on.”
Pinecrest (18-10) failed to keep up the pace in the second half. Tattnall’s bigger post players began to step up, and shots that fell for Pinecrest in the first half did not go down in the second.
As the Paladins struggled through a 7-of-29 (24.1 percent) second half from the field, Tattnall found shots open in the post that weren’t there in the first half. Kendra Green scored 18 of her game-high 25 points after the break, and the Trojans scored 27 points in the final quarter -- on 8-of-13 shooting -- to put things away.
“We slowed it down,” Gordon said. “They wanted to run fast, and we don’t really run fast. If we slow them down, then we get the shots we want, and we get the post players we want. They get tired, and we just keep going.”
Jordan Allen scored 12 points for Tattnall, while Gordon added 10. Green and Ashlyn Whetsel each had six rebounds, while Brianna Beasley added six assists.
Margaret Metz led Pinecrest with 16 points, with Maggie Herd scoring 14 and Regina Metz 11.