Lady Huskies use strong second half to defeat Pelham

By GRAHAM BROOKS / Staff Writer

PELHAM–After struggling to score and committing multiple turnovers in the first half, Helena went on a 33-15 second half run to easily defeat rival Pelham 54-36 to get one step closer to wrapping up the Class 6A Area 8 regular season title.

The Lady Huskies and Pelham were neck-and-neck in the first half which saw both teams trade baskets frequently.

Tied at 21 at halftime, Helena regrouped in the locker room to get things going on the offensive end to complete the regular season sweep of rival Pelham on the road.

“We turned it over 14 times in the first half,” Helena head coach Alan Skinner said after the game. “You don’t want to turn the ball over 14 times in a game, much less one half. Second half we did a better job of looking in the post and did a better job of turning them over. The first half instead of actually sitting down and guarding the ball and playing defense, we decided that we wanted to run next to somebody and we got a bunch of stupid fouls that way. It was about going in and refocusing our energy and fixing a bunch of little stuff in the second half that really hurt us in the first. Our energy level was big in the second half.”

Tied at 25 early in the second half, the Lady Huskies went on a 13-0 run in the third quarter that included 3-pointers from Mary Elizabeth Laatsch and Morgan Watkins. Helena’s Jen Brown also added five points.

Helena led 41-30 heading into the final quarter and kept the momentum going by outscoring the Lady Panthers 13-6 in the final eight minutes.

Eight different Huskies recorded at least one score in the game as Helena was led in scoring by Laatsch, who finished with 13 points.

With the win, Helena moved to 3-0 in the area and will have a chance to finish the regular season undefeated in Class 6A Area 8 play when the Lady Huskies take on Chelsea at home on Jan. 27.