Give Thomas S. Wootton High School sophomore twin sister guards Cece and Ellie Kobylski even a split-second with the ball and they will make you pay, Walt Whitman girls basketball coach Pete Kenah said.
“If you’re not right up on the Kobylskis they are really quick to pull the trigger,” Kenah said.
Cece’s eight first-quarter points helped Wootton get out front early in Tuesday’s impressive 64-54 win over Montgomery 4A South Division leader Whitman in Rockville.
The Patriots’ (9-3) victory snapped a two-game skid and evened their division record at 2-2. It was the Vikings’ (9-2, 3-1 4A South) first loss since their season opener and first defeat within the division.
Tuesday was the Patriots third straight game without four-year varsity guard/forward Sophie Ellis, who injured her ankle in the first minute of Wootton’s two-point loss to Walter Johnson Jan. 2. The Patriots lost to crosstown rival Winston Churchill by nine points Friday.
Tenth-year Wootton coach Maggie Dyer said Wootton finally seemed to have adjusted to its new dynamic Tuesday. She added that Ellis is expected back this season.
“[Tuesday] was a huge win for us. We knew coming into it that they were the [division] leader, we knew they were very good. And we knew they’d be ready for us. We played well as a team tonight,” Dyer said.
While Whitman does not put up big offensive numbers — 49.3 points per game before Tuesday — the Vikings have thrived off their ability to make stops and turn defense into offense.
But Wootton, which is propelled by a number of versatile scoring options, plowed right through Whitman’s typically stingy defense.
The Patriots’ 16 first-quarter points were nearly half of the 36 points Whitman’s previous opponents had averaged per game.
“Wootton came out with a lot of energy. They were making shots and they knocked us back on our heels. We were never able to take the lead. We tied it up three times but we never were able to get out in front,” Kenah said.
As do most basketball games, Tuesday’s contest featured several momentum shifts, but the Patriots, led by sophomores Sheri Addison (18 points) and Cece Kobylski (17) and senior Sara Wallerstedt (14), always seemed to have an answer. And it was a different player making the big play each time.
Wootton led 16-7 after the first quarter and 28-18 at halftime. But Whitman’s 12-2 run to start the third quarter had the Patriots out of sorts.
“The momentum shifts a lot in games and it’s about how you handle it. I called a time out and I think they handled it very well. I’m very proud. They rose to the occasion and really started to settle down,” Dyer said. “So many people contributed [to the win]. We played a very good game and just didn’t quit.”
Whitman, led by Dani Okon (11), Kim Durante (10) and Brittany Fleck (10) kept within striking distance in the third quarter, which ended with Wootton leading 40-37.
But the Patriots pulled away midway through the fourth quarter to clinch the win.
“Usually we’re able to get stops and our defense feeds into our offense and the other team gets frustrated,” Kenah said. “I give [Wootton] a lot of credit.”
Wootton 64, Whitman 54
Whitman 7 11 19 17 — 54
Wootton 16 12 12 24 — 64
Whitman (9-2, 3-1): Dani Okon 11, Kim Durante 10, Brittany Fleck 10, Marissa Cannon 7, Avery Witt 6, Maddie Cannon 5, Linn Bumpers 3, Rebecca Ford, 2.
Wootton (9-3, 2-2): Sheri Addison 18, Cece Kobylski 17, Sarah Wallerstedt 14, Ellie Kobylski 6, Kaitlin Klausing 5, Jenny Welch 4.