BAINBRIDGE — The Washington Lady Blue Lions opened the 2015-16 basketball season Friday, taking part in the Paint Valley Classic at Paint Valley High School just outside of Bainbridge.
Washington lost to the Minford Falcons, 46-41.
It was a very good start for the Lady Lions as they took a 16-11 lead at the end of the first quarter.
However, a change in defense by the Falcons caused problems for the Lady Lions as Minford outscored Washington in the second quarter, 14-2.
At the half, Minford was in front, 25-18.
Washington won the second half by two points, one in each quarter, pulling within two points with 13 seconds to play in the game.
After Minford made one of two free throws to take a 44-41 lead, Washington came down court and attempted a three-point shot, but it was no good.
Minford made its final two free throw attempts to put the ending tally at 46-41.
Washington was led by senior Jaycie McRoberts with 16 points.
She was named the team’s Most Valuable Player.
Freshman Hannah Haithcock scored eight points, senior Alexis Gray scored seven and senior Wendy Hawk had six points.
Erin Daniels, a sophomore, led Minford with 22 points. She went 10 of 12 from the free throw line. Daniels was named her team’s MVP of the game.
Senior Ally Hammonds scored eight and senior Emma Shepherd scored six.
“It was a very physical game,” Washington head coach John Persinger said. “My girls did a great, great job in the first quarter.
“In the second quarter, they went to a zone and we only scored two points,” Persinger said. “That really hurt us.
“We had one bad quarter against them last year,” Persinger said. “They outscored us 26-8.
Last year, Minford rallied from a 10-point deficit to beat the Lady Lions, 60-45.
“They have No. 10 (Daniels), she’s being looked at by Division I schools,” Persinger said. “She drives great; sees the floor great.
“I don’t like playing zone, but, I thought our zone did a pretty good job of containing her,” Persinger said. “Playing zone, we gave up a lot of offensive rebounds.
“I give them a lot of credit,” Persinger said. “They are a really good team. They’re strong at every position.
“I was really happy with our effort,” Persinger said. “I just want to see that effort continue.”
Washington will have its home opener Tuesday against Wilmington. The j-v game will start at 5:30 p.m.
Washington will host Miami Trace Saturday with the j-v game starting at noon.
SCORE BY QUARTERS
M 11 14 10 11 — 46
W 16 2 11 12 — 41
MINFORD — Caitlyn Puckett 0-0-0; Erin Daniels 6-10-22; Marissa Risner 1-0-2; Ali Hammonds 2 (1)-1-8; Emma Shepherd 1-4-6; Mary Pica 1-2-4; Abby Grasso 2-0-4; Ashley Blankenship 0-0-0. TOTALS — 13 (1)-17-46. Free throw shooting: 17 of 29 for 59 percent.
WASHINGTON — Alexis Gray 3-1-7; Jaycie McRoberts 3 (2)-4-16; Savannah Wallace 0-0-0; Hannah Haithcock 3-2-8; Wendy Hawk 3-0-6; Kassidy Hines 0-0-0; Tabby Woods 1-0-2; Maddy Jenkins 1-0-2. TOTALS — 14 (2)-7-41. Free throw shooting: 7 of 11 for 64 percent.
Reach Chris Hoppes at 740-335-3611, ext. 1104, or on Twitter @choppes1