When the triple threat of Beth Harris, Lyssa Mulvihill and Melissa Pettit get it going for the Lady Vikings, they are difficult to stop.
Orme found that out Friday night in a 60-48 loss to Williams. The triplets accounted for 82 percent of the team’s offense.
“We had some timing shots that went in and basically, toward the end, played pretty well,” WHS coach Lorenzo Rodriguez said. “Orme played physical.”
The Lady Warriors stayed with Williams through the first three quarters. The Vikes took a 12-10 lead in the first mainly in part to Pettit’s sound play. No. 12 for Williams scored the team’s first five points and had seven of the first 12.
The two teams played neck-and-neck in the second quarter. Williams opened up a four-point lead on an Ashley Rocha jumper but by halftime, Orme had tied the contest.
The Warriors were successful in the first half shutting down two of the three WHS players in that triple threat. Neither Mulvihill nor Harris had any field goals in the first half. Pettit, however, had scored 13 points in the first two quarters.
Mulvihill and Harris got it going in the second half and the Vikes began to pull away. Mulvihill ended up with 16 for the game while Harris had 15. Pettit was the top scorer with 18 points.
Down 29-28 midway through the third quarter, Williams went on an 8-3 run to seemingly take control. Harris and Amy Christman had key baskets and Sylvia Aguilar came away with a steal and layup to give Williams a 34-29 lead.
Harris then hit a pair of free throws for a seven-point WHS advantage.
But Orme would not go quietly. The Lady Warriors put together a run of their own, scoring nine straight points to take a 37-36 lead with 6:19 left in the game.
The two teams traded baskets for the next few minutes and it was all tied up, 43-43, with 4:22 left on the clock.
Rocha came up with a great defensive play on an Orme fast break and from that point on, Williams dominated.
The Vikes outscored the Warriors 17-5 the rest of the way with eight of those points coming at the free-throw line. Down the stretch, Mulvihill, Harris and Pettit scored all the points for Williams in balanced fashion. In the final 4:08 of the game, Mulvihill and Harris each had six points while Pettit had five — the type of balance Rodriguez had been seeking.
The coach said stopping Orme’s top player was a key in the win. “In the first half, we wore her out,” he said. “That was our goal, to slow her down.”
On Thursday, Williams hosted Salome in a makeup game that was originally scheduled for two days earlier. The Lady Vikings had few problems with the Frogs and cruised to a 59-24 victory.
The Lady Vikings shot out to a 17-8 lead in the first quarter and lengthened that advantage to 40-15 by halftime. As expected in a blowout, several players saw action.
In the scoring department, Williams got 19 points from Pettit. Harris, who fought back spasms in last week’s action, scored 15 and Mulvihill finished with 13.
The Williams girls upped their record to 4-2 in the region heading into Tuesday’s scheduled game with Mogollon. A win there would put the team in a good spot in the standings. That game was played after deadline.
Williams, now 13-9 overall heading into this week, is scheduled to play at Mayer on Saturday. A big game will be coming up this coming Tuesday when the Lady Vikings host Sedona Red Rock.
The first time around, Williams took a lead into the fourth quarter against the Scorpions but ended up losing, 72-63.
The varsity girls are scheduled to tipoff that Tuesday matchup at 5:30 p.m.
Rodriguez said he appreciates the community support and hopes to see big crowds at home games.