Walker guards Breanna Zeringue and Candace Ellis scored 21 points each to power the Wildcats to a 53-29 victory over St. Michael the Archangel Thursday in one of seven girls games at the Episcopal Classic Tournament.
St. Michael (5-9) kept things close in the first half and trailed 25-19 at the half. Walker (14-4) outscored the Warriors 28-10 in the second half, including 17-5 in the fourth quarter.
Walker’s fullcourt press forced numerous turnovers and led to fastbreak points.
“The first half we played sloppy and were making uncharacteristic passes,” Walker coach Korey Arnold said. "In the second half our press started working and we moved the ball on offense. We’re getting there as a team. As long as we play hard we should be in most games.”
Ellis, a 5-foot-5 junior, scored 11 points in the fourth quarter and had 14 in the second half. She picked up three fouls in the first half. Ellis showed a good ability to drive the ball on the baseline against St. Michael’s matchup zone.
“We stopped communicating on defense at the end of the game,” St. Michael second-year coach Jeanne Kenney said. “We couldn’t take away that drive from Walker. We’re a very young team.”
“Candace Ellis can shoot it and drive it,” Arnold said. “She’s a hard player to guard. Breanna Zeringue was also aggressive and played well.”
Zeringue scored 11 points in the first half, including eight in the second quarter. Asia Garner added nine points.
St. Michael was led by 5-8 sophomore Carlette Dunn, who scored nine points, grabbed eight rebounds (seven offensive) and made three steals.
“Carlette Dunn really crashed the boards and I was very proud of her,” Kenney said.
Janelle Parker added seven points. Caitie Brumfield and Amanda Stewart had three steals each for the Warriors.
Kenney said her team will need to pass the ball against the press and not try to dribble through it.
“Games like this will help us,” Kenney said. “Anybody can make a deep playoff run if they hit that stride at the right time. We’ve got some work to do.”
St. Michael’s Madison Szekely hit a 3-pointer with 5:32 remaining in the third quarter to cut the Walker lead to 25-22. Walker went on a 15-2 run over the next seven minutes to lead 40-24. St. Michael was held scoreless the last four minutes of the game as Walker closed with an 8-0 run.