Woodward-Granger (8-1) keeps getting dirty. With a 41-36 win Monday night against Glidden-Ralston (1-7), W-G’s win streak improves to eight straight games. They haven’t all been easy. Three games have been decided by four points or less.
After the game, head coach Gary Dresback said he’s trying to instill in the team that opponents aren’t always what their record shows.
“I don’t see [Glidden] as a 1-7 team,” he said. “They play some of the teams we played and they’d have four or five wins. They’re a decent team. You can’t always go by record.”
Exiting the first quarter, the Hawks faced a 13-3 deficit, the largest margin of the season the team has faced. Before Monday, the Hawks trailed after the first period three times. W-G is now 3-1 in such games, with the team’s only loss coming against Martensdale-St Marys in the second game of the season.
“I like the fact that we started with a three-point first quarter because we didn’t hang our heads, we just came back and battled back,” Dresback said.
Coming out of the locker room with the next possession, Dresback had the difference maker drawn up to get out of the slump, a 19-19 tying layup from Mae Anderson. Those were the only points she put up all night but were vital for the Hawks to go on an 11-4 run to swing the momentum.
Dresback said that was a designed play straight from the locker room that had a number of looks ready to make the play, and it was Anderson that was open.
Not all the points were guarantees made by the offense’s game plan. After pushing Glidden to a bonus with under five minutes remaining, the Hawks made up some ground at the foul line as well. Season-leading scorer Emma Anderson left the night with a team-high 18 points, part of which came from her free throw proficiency.
She went to the line once to break a 31-31 tie and minutes later regained a 37-36 lead after drilling a second set.
“She’s been a little hit and miss [at the line] but she’s capable,” Dresback said of Anderson, who entered the game shooting 55 percent on free throws. “It’s good for her to have that kind of game at the free throw line.”
Finley Fitzgerald — who finished with 12 points — followed up with a crashing layup to drive the nail in the proverbial coffin to keep the game just out of Glidden’s reach. With 10 seconds left, she missed a free throw attempt that gave Glidden one last chance to knot the game back up, only for Emma Anderson to strip the ball away and walk to the foul line again for the final two points of the game.
With just 41 points on the board, W-G has a season average of just 45.4 points. Only four teams in the state with a winning record have a lesser average score.
“Winning is hard sometimes,” Dresback said. “There aren’t too many teams with our record, with our average points per game. What are their defensive average? You look at our defense, and that’s what we hang our hat on.”
A win Tuesday night at Pleasantville (4-4) would be the most for W-G since 2013. Last season’s matchup was a low-scoring affair with a 33-23 Hawks win. This year, Pleasantville’s riding a four-game losing streak and has allowed over 50 points three times in that span.
Game Ball: Emma Anderson (4x) — 18 pts
Anderson has led the team in scoring six of eight games this season. No further stats were available at the time of writing.