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By Becky Kimbrell-Norris
WAKEFIELD — Despite turning the ball over numerous times, the Wakefield High School girls basketball team prevailed with a 47-42 win over Jordan in Monday’s season opener for both teams.
“We had way too many turnovers and it was not a pretty win,” said Wakefield head coach Art Wollett.
“I believe it was a combination of first game jitters and playing together for the first time,” Wollett added. “We have got to value the basketball and be patient.”
The Wolverines survived its gaggle of miscues as well as a slow start to escape with the victory against a determined Jordan team.
The Falcons were up by as many as six points at the end of the first quarter with a 14-8 advantage.
The visitors scored the first four points of the game as Wakefield struggled with getting the ball inside to Denneshia Goodman.
“We were trying to make some tough passes,” Wollett said, “and trying to force the ball in the middle.”
Goodman hit two shots, including a short jumper to tie the score at 8-8 but then Wakefield missed their next four shots.
Krystal Mangum got the Wolverines’ offense going and scored a bucket at the beginning of the second quarter. She then completed a three-point play and the Wolverines pulled to within 16-13 with 6:24 left in the first half.
After that, there was a two-minute stretch where neither team was able to score as they combined for eight missed shots.
Goodman broke the drought when she scored a basket and Mangum sank a three pointer to give Wakefield an 18-16 edge.
Jordan came up short on their last three attempts and Goodman’s two points with 30 seconds left sent Wakefield in the locker room with a 22-20 lead.
“We were trying to play too fast at times,” Wollett said. “We got down but we rallied back and Krystal gave us a little spurt.”
After the break, the Wolverines extended their lead to 27-20 on a three point shot by Tinasha Horton and a layup by Goodman, forcing the Falcons to call a timeout.
Mangum connected on another shot from beyond the arc and so did Horton and Wakefield led 35-28, heading into the final quarter.
Jordan gained some momentum and outscored the Wolverines 4-0 to start the quarter and then pulled within one point at 39-38 with 4:49 left in the game, however; that was as close as they would get.
Mangum was the leading scorer for the Wolverines with 17 points. Goodman tallied 11.
Salita Greene and Millicent Blivin paced the Falcons with 13 and 12 points, respectively.
“Despite our turnovers, there were some good points from our team,” Wollett said. “Some kids got some good minutes.”
“But we are going to have to play smarter and be more patient with the ball,” he added.
The Wolverines will travel to East Wake tomorrow (Friday) for another non-conference game. Tip-off is at 7 pm.