Start girls basketball coach Leon Kynard wasn't exactly overjoyed after the Spartans left Waite's gym on Wednesday night with a 44-42 victory.
The Spartans coach welcomed the City League victory, but had hoped for a cleaner game out of his team. Kynard said the Spartans are still trying to get back into a routine after having the extra time off from the school closings because of inclement weather last week.
"I think we still have a long way to go," said Kynard, whose team improved to 6-5, 5-1 in CL. "When you're young like we are you've got to play more."
The Spartans figured out how to finish on top of a game in which the lead exchanged hands four times in the second half.
Marquasia Turner was fouled off an inbounds play with 11 seconds remaining and went to the free-throw line with the score tied at 42. The Spartans’ guard calmly sank both shots for a two-point lead.
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Turner's free throws capped an explosive fourth quarter for the playmaker. She scored eight of her 11 points in the final eight minutes, including a pair of 3-pointers.
Turner proved to be a perfect complement for Mariah White, who led all scorers with 16 points, including nine before halftime to help the Spartans take a 17-15 lead.
Kendra Jones finished with seven points for the Spartans.
"I don't know if we have found any true identity," Kynard said. "One thing about them is they will never quit."
Kynard said White came up big, particularly in the early going.
"She played really well for us," he said. "She's one of those players that every team should have."
Senior post Latesha Craig led Waite with 15 points, including eight in the fourth quarter. Ramiyah Henry scored nine points, Taylor Works eight, and YaTia Caldwell seven for the Indians (5-9, 2-4).
Like Kynard, Waite coach Manny May wasn't pleased with his team’s performance.
"Too many turnovers and too many second-chance opportunities we gave them tonight," May said. "They made free throws. We missed free throws. That was the game.
"It was a hard-fought game by both teams. They made their last shots and we didn't."
The Indians played the final 28 seconds of the game without Craig, their 6-foot-1 center, who twisted her left ankle while scoring a basket that brought Waite within 42-40.
"That hurt us with her going down right there," May said. "We had to put a guard in to play the post."
Works tied the score at 42 when she came up with a steal at midcourt and went the distance for a layup with 15 seconds to play.
Following a Start timeout, Turner took a pass and dribbled hard to the basket and was fouled.
A last-second shot attempt by Henry was off the mark.
Scott 47, Bowsher 31
The Spartants expanded on a 22-10 halftime lead with a 22-6 run in the third.
Symone Palmer had 15 in the win for Scott.
For Bowsher (0-11, 0-6), Isis Dixson led the Rebels with 16.
Rogers 86, Woodward 33
The Rams won at Woodward as Akienreh Johnson scored 19 points and Sasha Dailey totaled 15.
Cierra Stamper paced the Polar Bears with 18 points.