By Paul Hines
The Lady Cardinals turned a close game against Webber into a 44-30 finish Wednesday night.
The matchup was the opening round of the Midland Trail Conference tournament.
“I was worried about not playing in 20 days and some of that stuff,” Woodlawn coach Matt Patterson said. “Practicing you'll get a couple days here and (have) two days off.
“We looked like it had been a little while. (We) got a little bit more into the flow in that fourth quarter and opened some things up and made some shots.”
Alison England helped energize the Woodlawn offense late in the game. The Lady Cardinals clung to a 26-24 lead going into the final period. England struck for all 10 of her points in the last eight minutes to blow open the game.
“She did a great job padding that lead a little bit and getting us more comfortable,” Patterson said.
Woodlawn struggled to shoot the ball until the final quarter and finished 16 of 48. Turnovers hamstrung Webber. The Lady Trojans coughed the ball up 11 times in the opening quarter and 24 times total.
England led Woodlawn with 10 points. Carly Ethridge added eight and six rebounds.
Kaylea Potter recorded a double double for Webber with 12 points and 10 rebounds.
“She is the key to us, and we still have not been able to find enough other consistent scorers,” Webber coach Greg Alvis said. “We're still looking to see who can be that second and third scorer for us.”
The two teams played a tight first half. The biggest lead came when Woodlawn worked a 15-10 margin after a bucket from Ethridge.
Webber closed the gap and seized an edge of its own when Shylie Donoho hit a bucket with 1:10 left to make the score 18-17. Abby Potter gave Webber a 19-17 lead just before half with a free throw.
“I tried to get us to slow the game down,” Alvis said. “We wanted to slow it down and make it a low scoring game and not get into a race horse game.”
The game stayed close in the third quarter as both teams struggled for control. Woodlawn managed to work a slender 26-24 lead after Webber's offense missed all four of its attempts from the field during the quarter.
England started the final quarter with a pair of buckets to push Woodlawn's advantage to 30-24. Later in the quarter she knocked down a 3-pointer to move the margin to 34-26.
“You just have to give Woodlawn credit,” Alvis said. “They got after it better in the second half, and we're going to have to continue to work to find ways to score when that first option's taken away from us.”
Woodlawn improved to 4-7 this season, and Webber dropped to 2-8 overall. Woodlawn faces tournament top seed North Clay on Saturday.