Wakefield junior Lauryn Freeman tries to go baseline against TJ's Savannah Wilson in the first half of Tuesday's game.

National First Round: #4 Wakefield 41, #5 Jefferson 29

With 11 freshmen or sophomores on her roster, Wakefield girls coach Marcia Richardson is used to inconsistency. While her team is young it is nevertheless extremely talented, so when the Warriors avoid turnovers and play with some consistency they’re hard to beat.

Wakefield was hard to beat Tuesday night in a do-or-die district playoff game against Thomas Jefferson. The Warriors held TJ to 14% field goal shooting in the first half and 12 points through three quarters en route to a 41-29 victory. The win clinched a regional tournament berth for Wakefield.

“We played extremely well tonight, at least through three quarters,” Richardson said. “The team has come a long way this season. I told them the even younger version of themselves might not have reacted well to adversity when they [TJ] made a run, but we played through it tonight.”

Wakefield's lone senior, Jami Tham, explodes to the rim for two of her nine points.
Wakefield’s lone senior, Jami Tham, explodes to the rim for two of her nine points.

The Warriors displayed diversity in their offensive attack. Seven Warriors dished out assists and no player reached double-digits in scoring. Sophomore guard Jayde Spinner and lone senior Jami Tham led the way with nine points apiece, while sophomore center Jayela Lopez added eight points and 12 rebounds. Junior guard-forward Hannah Foley had six points.

The Colonials displayed less offensive diversity, relying on talented juniors Savannah Wilson and Mallory Brodnik for all but four of their points. TJ trailed by double digits most of the way from the second quarter on, but Brodnik got hot late on her way to 20 points and Jefferson’s defense was able to force a lot of turnovers. Unfortunately for TJ it was too little, too late. The Colonials’ season was ended, though their future seems bright. Like Wakefield TJ only has one senior on the roster.

TJ star Mallory Brodnik calls for the ball, but Wakefield's defense kept her in check through three.
TJ star Mallory Brodnik calls for the ball, but Wakefield’s defense kept her in check through three.

Wakefield advances to play top-seeded Edison in the National District Tournament this evening. It will be a tall task to upset the Eagles on their home floor, but Richardson and her team are certainly not afraid of the challenge.

“We got a shot,” Richardson says. “Last time out we were right with them until the last two minutes and they shot 20 free throws to our six. If we can even that up a little bit and keep our poise I like our chances.”

–Chris Jollay

all stats are unofficial

SPINNER 3-6 2-6 9 4 2
THAM 4-11 1-2 9 8 1
LOPEZ 4-10 0-0 8 12 1
CHAMBERS 0-4 2-2 2 2 1
FOLEY 2-7 2-2 6 5 1
Thompson 1-2 0-0 3 3 2
Freeman 1-2 0-1 2 0 0
Wallace 1-9 0-0 2 1 2
Poindexter 0-0 0-0 0 1 0
TOTALS 16-51 7-13 41 36 10
Threes: Spinner 1-2, Thompson 1-2, Chambers 0-3, Foley 0-3
STEWART 0-2 0-0 0 2 0
WILSON 2-16 1-4 5 5 3
KIM 0-3 0-0 0 2 0
KALE 1-9 0-0 2 8 0
BRODNIK 6-14 7-9 20 7 0
Cullen 1-4 0-0 2 6 2
Rayan 0-0 0-0 0 0 0
Joyner 0-3 0-0 0 1 1
TOTALS 10-51 8-13 29 31 6
Threes: Brodnik 1-1, Wilson 0-8, Kim 0-2