SYRACUSE – A packed student section and vibrant crowd at Wawasee High School was treated to a dominant performance by the Warriors girls basketball team in a 59-33 non-conference victory over the Warriors of Westview.

Wawasee bounced back after a midweek loss to Fairfield to improve its record to 3-1.

It was a fast start for the home Warriors as the team jumped out of the gate to a 15-2 lead in the first quarter. Wawasee was led by two of its five seniors in the first quarter, as Lindsay Doss and Jada Carter combined for 13 first quarter points. Doss led all scorers with 13 points to go with six rebounds and a block. Senior Kennedy White also ended in double digits with 10 points and four rebounds.

“We laid an egg on Tuesday, and we know that,” Wawasee head coach Matt Carpenter said. “We had a great team meeting led by our captains, had two outstanding days of practice afterwards, and I think our seniors showed me tonight that they were ready to go.”

Wawasee used a noticeable height advantage to win almost every battle in the paint. The Warriors scored at will in the first half, and combined with the team’s suffocating defense, jumped out to a 28-12 halftime lead.

“When we have a size advantage like that, the first priority is always going to be getting paint touches,” Carpenter said. “We wanted to get the ball moving and for the most part I feel like we did a pretty good job of that.”

Eight of Wawasee’s ten players found their way onto the score sheet. Sophomore Kaydence Shepherd finished with five points and two steals. Freshman Mackenzie Hackleman added a bucket. The most notable of the young guns off of the Wawasee bench was freshman Olivia Horn, who finished third on the team with nine points, and led all players with 11 rebounds.

“Olivia is an athlete and a competitor, and I think those are her two best attributes at this point,” Carpenter said. “One thing I appreciate about our team is we have three freshman in our top ten, and two sophomores. Olivia stepped up tonight, she finds her way to the ball, just a playmaker.”

After a first half in which nearly everything went right, some signs of sloppiness showed for the Warriors in the second half. The team got into foul trouble early, allowing Westview to get into the bonus halfway through the third quarter. But the road Warriors were unable to capitalize on getting key players in foul trouble, and were only able to cut the deficit to 13. A Kennedy White three-pointer before the third quarter buzzer put the lead back up to 16, and eliminated all hopes of a comeback.

“That size advantage is nice, but it can be hard to guard girls that are six inches shorter than you sometimes, Carpenter said. “We’ve got to do a better job with our hands, moving our feet a little quicker and making sure our angles are better. If we can do those things, that’s going to help us dramatically.” Once the referees establish how they’re going to call a game, that’s not going to change.”

Wawasee also picked up a victory in the JV game, winning 58-18. Molly Beer led all scorers with 16 points, and tied Kiersten McCreary for the team lead in rebounds with seven. McCreary scored 14 points.

Next up for Wawasee is a home contest against Lakeland Tuesday night.