Western coach Breezy Bishop said after Saturday's loss to Mount Hebron that her freshman-laden team had been "spanked." Yesterday, playing host to No. 13 Lake Clifton, the No. 2 Doves spanked right back.
But not before the scrappy Lakers threw a scare into them.
Lake Clifton kept up with speedy Western for two quarters and got as close as five points midway through the third, before falling to the Doves, 63-49, in a City-Wide league game.
"I have the patience of Job," said Bishop of her young 3-1 team, which fought to stay with the Lakers early before toying with them in the second half. "It took us a long time to get going."
After racing to a 5-0 lead, Western gave up 13 of the next 18 points and trailed, 13-10, at the end of the first quarter. The teams were then tied at 15 and 17 midway through the second quarter before the Doves got on track.
Led by the inside-outside combination of forward Chanel Wright (18 points) and guard Tesha Tinsley (14), both freshmen, they forged a 28-23 lead by halftime and never looked back.
Western used the transition game to extend the lead to as much as 22 late in the game.
For many players, the victory was just what the doctor ordered.
"After the loss [to Mount Hebron] we had to build up our pride," said guard Sonya Jones, who pulled down a game-high 13 rebounds and scored nine points. "Everybody was a little down, but we all said we were going to come out today and win."
Said guard Erika Dailey: "Basically, we took the last game and analyzed everything we did wrong. We were determined to come out strong today. It was important for our pride."
But Lake Clifton had pride on the line as well. Led by Liashan Gross and Dena Freeman, the Lakers were hungry to prove their worth against the city's perennial power.
"I can guarantee you that next time things will be different," said Lake Clifton coach James Monroe, whose team fell to 1-1. Western "came out in better shape than us and ran the floor better. We also made a lot of dumb passes and missed a lot of shots."
Forty-four, to be exact. The Lakers made 19 of 63 shots on the day, and 12 of 26 from the foul line.
Western also shot poorly, hitting 32 percent in the first half.
But with a freshman-dominated team, Bishop said, she doesn't expect perfection -- yet. She said she's prepared to wait it out for a while.
"They're still not there, offensively," she said. "They're extremely young, and it will take awhile. In two years, though, this team will be a national power."