What the Shelton Highclimbers did about missed shots — and there were plenty of those — turned the tide in a decisive third quarter.
Senior post Paige Johnson converted Highclimber misses into putback baskets on consecutive possessions at the end of the third, and the second earned Shelton its first lead of the game — a lead it never gave back in a 48-39 girls’ basketball victory at Capital on Wednesday night.
“We talk all the time: Rebounds win games,” Shelton coach Aaron Leth said.
The Highclimbers (4-0, 1-0 in 3A South Sound Conference) outscored the Cougars 16-7 in the third quarter, getting 3-pointers from junior Katie Johnson and sophomore Jordyn Peterson and four early points from sophomore Decheiya Littlesun.
Shelton turned a 27-26 lead to open the fourth quarter to 36-29 with a 9-3 run started by a triple by Jasmine Griffin. Littlesun and Morgan Leach added 3-pointers as the Climbers pulled away, taking their biggest lead at 44-33 on a Griffin runner in the lane.
Capital, meanwhile, struggled to find the range.
“When we pick it up on defense,” Leth said, “it usually translates on offense.”
In a ragged first quarter, which ended with the Cougars up 8-7, turnovers by both teams were the go-to plays and shooting, when the players got a shot off, was as frigid as the expected overnight low outside.
Capital scored the first seven points of the second quarter, including a 3-pointer by Delani West, to go up 15-7. Timber Ware hit a pair of free throws just before the break to pull the Highclimbers within 19-11 at the half.
Capital (1-2, 0-1 in SSC) was led by the 13 points of West, a 5-7 senior. Junior Hannah Chamberlin was steady throughout and scored 12 points.
Griffin scored 10 to lead the balanced Shelton scoring. Littlesun, a 5-8 post, contributed 9 points, Ware had 7 and Jordyn Peterson and Johnson had 6 apiece.
Capital --, Shelton --
Shelton741621 -- 48
Capital811713 -- 39
S: Ware 7, Peterson 6, Griffin 10, Johnson 6, Leach 3, Gairns 4, LIttlesun 9.
C: West 13, Adams 2, Potts 4, Wilkerson 4, Chamberlin 12, Peters 2, Francisco 0, Kaufman 0.