Two out of three ain’t bad.
For the Wright City girls basketball team, it’s exceptional.
The Wildcats, who had just one win through two months of play prior to last Friday, reeled off two victories in four days.
Both required clutch finishes during intense final moments.
It began with a 26-24 triumph over Van-Far last Friday, followed by a 34-32 escape at Confluence Prep on Tuesday.
“We had to hold them off, but the girls played well,” said Coach Fred Ross.
Wright City trailed significantly during both of its wins, falling behind 10-2 at Van-Far.
“We missed our first five shots and four free throws,” lamented Ross.
Junior Margaret Shields put the Wildcats on the board with 3:00 remaining in the first quarter.
“We got good shots,” said Ross. “We just didn’t hit anything. Then we’d go to the basket and get fouled but not convert.”
Wright City turned the tables during the second period, outscoring Van-Far to cut the deficit to one at halftime. Van-Far relied on its strong post play to maintain a 12-11 advantage.
Otherwise, there were no substantial mismatches.
“We really matched up well,” said Ross. “They’ve got a young team.”
He made several changes at halftime, including a decision that would halt the Indians’ inside presence.
“We went to a little bit of a 2-3 zone to try to slow them down, fronting and backing their post player,” said Ross.
The results were evident, as the Wildcats ate away at a 18-15 deficit heading into the fourth period.
“We stepped up the defense really well and weren’t giving up the backside shot,” said Ross. “We had good help side rebounding to only give them one shot most times.”
Offensively, Shields began to take over, scoring eight of her 14 points in the final quarter.
“Margaret made a couple mid-range shots, and we had really had good ball movement,” said Ross.
Wright City trailed by four with 2:00 remaining but was able to force a pair of turnovers that led to points.
Shields hit the go-ahead bucket with 8.3 seconds left, and the Wildcats forced a 10-second backcourt call on the ensuing possession to secure the win.
“Our defense did a really good job,” said Ross.
Shields was also outstanding again on Tuesday, netting a team-best 14 points against Confluence Prep.
Again, the Wildcats were forced to claw back into contention, trailing 18-9 at halftime.
Wright City will host Orchard Farm for Courtwarming on Friday.