The Chancellor girls basketball team has shown a tendency this season of playing with more composure toward the end of games.
The Chargers would prefer to play that way for a full four quarters, but at least they pick the right time to turn things up.
They did it again Friday night in a 50–32 home Conference 19 victory over Caroline, turning a close game in the third quarter into a convincing win.
“They calmed down in the fourth quarter and went on to play their game,” Chancellor head coach William Griffin said.
The Chargers (10–4, 4–1) never trailed, but the Cavaliers (8–6, 1–2) pulled to within two points midway through the third. That’s when Chancellor flipped the switch, out-scoring Caroline 18–0 over a six-minute span to take control.
Chargers senior guard Gabby Coley scored five of her 11 points during the game-turning run, including a 3-pointer from the left corner late in the third.
“We wake up and say, ‘Wait a minute, we’re not going to lose this game. We can’t lose.’ That’s our motivation. That’s in our hearts,” Coley said. “We may come out slow, but we definitely come back with a passion.”
Chancellor’s post duo of Lalicia Young and Sydney Collins locked down the paint on defense and scored 14 and six points, respectively. Junior point guard Lachaunda Patterson had 12 points.
Despite being double-teamed throughout the game, Caroline forward Hope Toliver led all scorers with 16 points, and she was a major presence on the boards.
Chancellor led 17–9 early in the second quarter, but Mykaila Smith and Toliver, the area’s top scorer, closed the gap for the Cavaliers.
Smith, who finished with 12 points, hit a running jumper and made two free throws to cut the deficit to four and then Toliver scored five straight points on a three-point play and a layup to make it 22–20.
“I had one girl playing behind and one in front [of Toliver], and she still got her stuff. She’s a good player,” Griffin said.
The Chargers struggled offensively for much of the third quarter, missing an assortment of shots right under the basket. Coley broke a four-minute scoreless spell with a fast break layup with 2:42 remaining in the third. It was the first of three straight field goals to end the period.
Chancellor’s hot shooting continued in the fourth. Collins sank a jumper and Coley swished a 3. Patterson made consecutive layups to increase the lead to 46–26.
“It was definitely easier [to get the offense going] after everyone started making shots and building up that confidence,” Coley said. “It’s all about confidence.”
Late-game struggles are nothing new for Caroline, which scored only 12 points in the final two quarters. The Cavaliers have had problems closing out games before.
“It’s that mental thing of carrying it out for all four quarters,” Caroline first-year head coach Salita Richardson said. “We function on a first quarter, second quarter basis, and then the third quarter is where we lose it.”
Chancellor has also had trouble maintaining the same level of play for four quarters, but it continues to find ways to win in the end.
“I think they’re coming along,” Griffin said. “I told them, ‘I just want to keep rising and get to that point. We’re almost there. That fourth quarter showed what we wanted to do.’”
Caroline (8-6): NyAsia Brown 3, Devyn Mauck 1, Alantra Mines 0, Alexis Pitts 0, Mykaila Smith 12, Hope Toliver 16. Totals: 13 6-11 32
Chancellor (10-4): Bianca Atkinson 4, Ryann Banks 0, Gabby Coley 11, Sydney Collins 6, Alexis Lawson 0, Isis Moore 3, Lachaunda Patterson 12, Kayla Syrkes 0, Lalicia Young 14. Totals: 18 12-18 50
Three-point goals: Caroline 0. Chancellor 2 (B. Atkinson, G. Coley).