Khaliyah Harris’ winning bucket for Wilson with 35 seconds left proved any team can win on any night — no matter what the rankings or stat sheets say — as the Rams beat visiting, ninth-ranked Lincoln, 50-47, on Wednesday.
“We just had to work hard together,” Rams coach Michelle Birge said. “No matter what mistakes were made within the course of four quarters, we believed that ultimately, if we got back to the game plan, we would be successful.”
Lincoln (13-4, 10-1 3A Pierce County League) came in to Wednesday’s game undefeated in league play.
Wilson (9-8, 7-4) came in looking for some much-needed momentum amidst what has been a difficult season for a program that’s enjoyed being on top of the standings in recent years.
Both teams struggled to find an offensive rhythm early as turnovers and fouls broke up the play.
The Rams and Abes ended the first quarter tied at 8.
Morticia McCall sparked the Abes’ offense in the second quarter, pouring in 10 points, but the Rams fought back behind Josie Matz’s aggressive play.
“Her leadership was big tonight,” Birge said of Matz, a 5-foot-8 senior guard. “Her discipline was big, too. She reminded the kids, we can do this tonight. It’s about believing and going forward. It’s not where you start, it’s where you finish.”
Matz finished with 18 points and had several key blocks and steals.
Kiara Maxwell converted a big 3-pointer for the Rams as time expired at the end of the third quarter to give her team a 36-34 lead.
Down the stretch, neither team could pull away.
Enter Harris and that last-minute bucket.
“Wilson wanted it more tonight,” Lincoln coach Jamila Jones said. “We’ve got to learn we’re the ones being hunted now, and we’ve got to come with that fire every game.”
Harris finished with nine points, and Desiree Ayler and Maxwell each chipped in seven points.
McCall led the Abes with 25 points, Ashia Donahue had six, and Faith Brantley, Azallee Johnson and Kondalia Montgomery had four apiece.