By Kris Freeman, Sports Information Director, White House High School
LAFAYETTE – Playing a tough schedule against many higher classification teams and a solid region, the White House Lady Devils have been on the other side of the coin too many times in recent memory. Wednesday, however, it was time for the tables to turn.
White House (2-7) jumped out to a 31-point lead at halftime and dominated The Webb School, 62-26, in the opening round game of the Nera White Christmas Tournament at Macon County High School. The Devils play Alcoa on Thursday in the winner’s bracket at 4 p.m. Each team is guaranteed three games, and White House is now set to finish fourth or better in the prestigious eight-team field.
“We play a lot of tough teams on our schedule, so this was nice for our girls to play well and get some momentum,” said White House head coach Jeff Bennett.
Senior guard McKenzie Vaughn had 21 points to lead all scorers, but 11 players scored total for White House as a blistering run at the end of the first quarter helped put the game away.
Leading 5-4, White House scored 12 of its next 14 points on steals converted to baskets, twice from Vaughn and senior Courtney Meadows to third senior starter Kelly Cain.
“When we are able to turn them over, it gives us an opportunity to get in transition and get easy baskets and that builds the momentum quickly,” Cain added after the game. “Mac is quick and she can get down the court, so we know that when it’s turned over, we have to get back in a hurry and when she is on it opens things up for us.”
Cain finished with 13 points including a three-pointer in transition just before the half when White House led 41-10.
Junior Grace Mauphin scored six points, all at the free-throw line and Baylee Miller added five and Meadows four.
Despite the five starters playing impressive, White House got scoring contributions from six players off the bench. Sophomore Bailey Newman was aggressive on defense and contributed three points, then sophomore teammates Emma Wall and Elizabeth Nolan also scored two each. Freshmen Danielle Williams, Ragan Anderson, Alexis Bess all had a bucket and Audrey Hudson played extensive time but did not score.
“It’s really fun for us to see the young players get into the game and score, especially when you see someone like Emma get a basket and smiling all the way down the court,” Cain added. “It was fun in the locker room after the game. Baylee (Miller) said something to coach about the number of times we have been on the other side of it and it was nice to get a big win.”
The Webb School fell to 4-3 for the season with Leigha Insell as the only player in double figures with 10. Point guard Rocquel Saunders had five and Azaria Porter added five inside, but fouled out of the game. Abbie Gallagher scored two, Lola Reyes two and Chaney McKnight two.
Webb plays Father Ryan Thursday at 10 a.m. in the loser’s bracket side of the tournament. White House takes on Alcoa at 4 p.m.