The White Hall girls finally learned to hit back.
Less than a month after letting Watson Chapel storm back to a win on its home court, White Hall got its revenge but needed to fight for it.
The Lady Bulldogs finished Tuesday night’s game on an 11-2 run to grab a 46-38 win on the Lady Wildcats’ home court.
“The first time we played them at our place, Chapel made a run,” White Hall coach Mike Upshaw said. “We took the punch but didn’t punch back.
“They made a run and we didn’t answer.”
The Lady Bulldogs, who led 32-31 entering the fourth quarter, only made one field goal in the final period, but made 12 of 18 free throws to close out the win.
“I thought the last minute and a half to two minutes we played with a lot of mental and physical toughness,” Upshaw said. “I’m not sure what our percentage was but we hit free throws down the stretch. …
“All I know is our kids stepped up and made plays and won us the ballgame.”
For the most part, White Hall (17-5, 9-2 in 5A-South) controlled the game on Tuesday night, but there were times when Chapel (13-11, 8-4) made a run to take the lead.
With 3:17 left in the third quarter, Lady Wildcats coach Leslie Henderson called a timeout and her team responded with an 8-0 run, including two three-pointers by Megan Moore to take a one-point lead.
Midway through the fourth quarter Chapel took another one-point lead at 36-35.
Both times, though, White Hall’s Hailey Wilkins, who scored a game-high 15 points, answered with coast-to-coast layups to give the Lady Bulldogs the lead again.
“I thought our defense was pretty good,” Henderson said. “Except for letting (Wilkins) go all the way a couple of times.
“There were a couple she drove by us from the top of the key, but there were a few she just dribbled all the way down. That will happen sometimes, but she did it three or four times.”
In the teams’ first matchup, Chapel freshman Peyton Martin outplayed White Hall senior JaeLisa Allen scoring 18 points against the Arkansas-Pine Bluff commit.
Martin only made one field goal Tuesday night but still finished with 14 points outscoring Allen by four.
Henderson thought she should have had more but Chapel settled for outside shots instead of getting the ball inside to Martin.
“We talked about (getting the ball inside) at halftime,” Henderson said. “We still didn’t look like we were trying to pound it inside.”
The biggest difference between the first matchup and the second was White Hall’s ability to shut down Chapel senior point guard Kierra Cox, which also led to Martin’s reduction in made field goals.
Cox had 17 points in the first meeting and just five on Tuesday night.
“We wanted to limit Cox penetrating and hitting the backside block,” Upshaw said. “She still got inside on us a couple of times, but we did a much better job than we did at our place.
“She’s a good little player. She really makes them go.”