Lady Eagles find redemption in Johnston

Gracie Atkerson’s (5) hot hand on Tuesday helped the Eagles avenge their final minute loss to the Patriots last week. | Photos: Martha Ladd

JOHNSTON – The Richard Winn Lady Eagles notched another early season win Tuesday night against the Wardlaw Academy Patriots. Last week the two teams faced off and Wardlaw escaped with a narrow 44-43 win in the final seconds of the game.

This week, the Eagles were ready to get their revenge in Johnston. Taylor Spires and Gracie Atkerson’s combined for 33 points and outscored the Patriots by themselves. The dangerous duo’s standout night led RWA to a 42-31 win.

Though Taylor Spires and Gracie Atkerson each hit a three-pointer in the first, Wardlaw jumped out to an early lead on the Eagles. After a quarter the Eagles trailed 9-10. The Patriots were able to extend their lead before the halftime break, holding the Eagles to only 6 points in the second quarter. After 16 minutes of play, Wardlaw led 20-15.

Taylor Spires (15) led scorers with 15 in last week’s loss to Wardlaw and topped herself with 18 in Tuesday’s win.

The Eagles came alive in the second half. Spires and Atkerson, aided by a strong defensive surge, led the offensive charge in the second half, racking up a combined 20 points in the half. Wardlaw still led 28-26 heading into the final period, but the Patriots offense was locked completely down in the fourth.

Richard Winn’s defense only allowed three points in the final eight minutes, and all of the points came from the charity stripe. Spires tallied nine points in the fourth, and Atkerson had five of her 15 in the final period.

The Eagles look to extend their 2-0 region record Friday when they host Cambridge Academy for their final regular season game of 2018.

RWA: 9-6-11-16-42
WA: 10-10-8-3-31

RWA: Taylor Spires – 18, Gracie Atkerson – 15, Hannah Gibbons – 5, Rayne Williams – 2, Mikaela Miller – 2.

WA: Elizabeth Ruth – 12, Gracie Kevin – 7, Catherine Quarles – 4, Jordan Williams – 3, Ashland Yonce – 3.