For the second straight game, Washington rallied from a slow start to post a girls basketball victory

The Lady Jays (8-6, 2-0) controlled the final three quarters of the game in a 44-26 GAC Central win Tuesday at Ft. Zumwalt North.

Washington has won five of its last seven games.

Trailing 9-5 after one quarter, the Lady Jays outscored Ft. Zumwalt North for the remainder of the game, 39-17.

“We got off to another slow start, but our defense was good from the start,” said Washington Head Coach Adam Fischer. “After a few small adjustments at the half, our offense started to click a little more. We started passing the ball better and taking our time and finding the open person.”

Paige Carpenter had the hot hand from the outside, leading the Lady Jays with 13 points.

“Paige hit a few big three-pointers that helped us stretch the lead,” Fischer said.

Courtney Kedroski finished the game with 10 points. Kirstie Leslie pitched in with seven points.

Kaitlin Evans and Rachel Kackley both scored six points. Megan Bauche had two points.

Also playing were Helena Ballmann, Alex Ready, Megan Freitag and Hannah Leslie.

Defense played a key role for the Lady Jays.

Shelby Bateman, North’s leading scorer at 16 points per game, was held to six points. Sydney Boxell and Abby Haler also scored six points for the Lady Panthers (4-12, 1-1).

“For the second night in a row, Kaitlin and Kirstie held the best player from the other team to six points,” Fischer said. “We are really starting to click on the defensive end of the floor.”

Washington also had a solid game rebounding the ball.

“Kaitlin, Kirstie, Rachel and Helena controlled the boards for most of the night,” Fischer said. “Defense and rebounding will win you a lot of games. Our girls are starting to realize that.”

The Lady Jays held leads of 19-15 at halftime and 33-22 after three quarters.