The George Washington Patriots hung on to defeat Chaparral Monday night, following an impressive second half by the Wolverines.
The Patriots took control early and held all control into the second half. After the break, the Wolverines charged back – eliminating a 10-point lead – and even held the lead late in the game, but fell just short. George Washington survived the scare by forcing foul trouble on Chaparral’s senior point guard, Jessica Formento and sophomore forward Payton Bang to improve to 12-3 overall.
An up-tempo offense and stifling defensive pressure by George Washington in the first half gave them a comfortable 27-17 lead heading into the break. After halftime, Chaparral came out firing on all cylinders having an answer to everything the Patriots threw at them.
The sophomore duo of twins Avery and Payton Bang was on full display in the third as the two combined for 15 of the Wolverines’ 19 in the quarter. The two could not be stopped offensively as they found themselves in possession of the ball with high-percentage looks time and time again.
Utilizing their size, Chaparral exploited the aggressive George Washington defense and were able to find one of the Bang sisters open underneath or were able to give them the opportunity to drive the baseline for an easy layup. Late in the third, Avery took a quick pass from sophomore Riley Smith to give the Wolverines their first lead of the game.
Their lead was short-lived as freshman Jaida Redwine tied the game at 32 going one-for-two at the line. Avery Bang responded quickly, driving the baseline to once again give Chaparral the lead heading into the fourth.
With the lead swinging between both squads, George Washington switched their defensive scheme throwing off the Wolverines just enough to regain the lead with less than three minutes to go. With the lead once again in their favor, the Patriots attacked the rim, drawing fouls on both sides of the ball.
Formento fouled out on a touchy offensive foul with 2:09 remaining in the game with Payton Bang sitting on the bench after picking up her fourth foul minutes earlier. As Payton checked back in, George Washington capitalized on her unwillingness to foul and was able to drive the lane with more confidence. As time dwindled, the Wolverines settled for fouling George Washington, who took advantage of their free throw opportunities to seal the game, defeating Chaparral 53-46.
The Wolverines showed a tenacity and unwavering ability to battle back. A ten-point deficit at halftime is not an easy number to overcome, but they did just that and nearly found themselves going home with their 12thvictory of the season. The Bang twins combined for 32 points on the night. Avery finished with a game-high 19 points, while Payton finished with thirteen. This sophomore duo is raw with talent and going to cause trouble for teams as they continue to progress.
The Patriots are a young team that should have all 4A teams worried. The team is poised to make a deep run this year and for the next few years behind their talented bench. Freshman guard Jaida Redwine continued to impress and play more mature than one would think a freshman would. Redwine finished with a team-high 13 points while junior forward Maya Whiteside came up with twelve.