CLARENDON– The Wellington Lady Skyrockets got off the launching pad quickly Friday night to close the first half of District 2-2A as the team to beat.
Visiting No. 16 Clarendon in a matchup between a pair of unbeaten teams to close put the first half of district play, Wellington didn’t waste any time. The Lady Rockets dominated from the beginning, rolling to a big halftime lead and cruising the rest of the way to soar to a 41-25 victory and claim sole possession of the district lead.
It was a signature win for first-year Wellington coach Cade Brown, who took over for Chris Sumrall, who left last summer to take the head coaching job at Tascosa.
“I’m very proud of our girls,” Brown said. “We hung our hat on our defense even though we had our ups and downs. To come in here and finish up the first round 5-0 is big.”
The Lady Skyrockets (17-9, 5-0 in district) set the tone by scoring the first eight points of the game. Clarendon scored next to nothing from the field, as Kenidee Hayes scored on an offensive rebound for the only field goal in the first half for the Lady Broncos (22-6, 4-1), making it 13-4 at the end of the first quarter.
Wellington dominated in every phase of the game in the first half, holding Clarendon to two free throws in the second quarter. Presley Kane’s putback in the final seconds of the half gave the Lady Skyrockets their biggest lead of the half, 26-6.
Clarendon found a little more offense in the second half, but it wasn’t nearly enough, as the Lady Broncos never got closer than 14 points in the final two quarters.
“We know (the Lady Broncos) are going to keep fighting for all four quarters,” Brown said. “We were getting pretty gassed, but we held on and I’m happy about that.”
Aside from defense, a big key for Wellington was free throw shooting, particularly in the first half. The Lady Skyrockets got half of their first half points from the line, making 13-of-14 free throws and for the game hit 20-of-24 from the charity stripe.
Asia Shrubs led Wellington with 13 points and Audrey Jones had 11. Clarendon didn’t put a single player in double figures, as Kenidee Hayes led the Lady Broncos with eight points.
“The standard here the last 15 years has been set and I’m very fortunate to be part of it,” Brown said. “We’ve got to take the reins and we know what we’ve got to uphold.”
Wellington 13 26 31 41
Clarendon 4 6 16 25
W– Asia Shrubs 13, Audrey Jones 11. C– Kenidee Hayes 8, Baylee Gabel 5. Records: Wellington 17-9, 5-0; Clarendon 22-6, 4-1.