The Lady Wolverines had some defensive moves of their own as they used a 1-3-1 defense to stymie Woodland's inside game and stay within striking distance.
Lyrica Solomon and Kennedy Robinson paced the Lady Wildcats in the low-scoring affair as they tallied seven points each while Jessie Michaels led the defensive effort as she took three charges in the paint area from the Lady Wolverines.
Head coach Colman Roberts credited the win to the suffocating defense played by the Lady Wildcats and their effort throughout the game. "In the first quarter Walker scored one point. That's just playing hard on the defensive end. We preach we're going to win on that end. I think Jessie Michaels played extremely well tonight. She took three charges. She got a lot of rebounds."
The Lady Wildcats also forced almost a dozen turnovers by Walker but lost any statistical advantage they might have gained by turning the ball over 23 times themselves.
They were more successful at frustrating and altering the Lady Wolverines' shots, especially in the paint area. Walkers' 3-point shots didn't fall effectively.
Woodland trailed only briefly the whole afternoon as Walker scored first on a foul shot 43 seconds into the contest for a 1-0 lead. Solomon answered with a 3-pointer at the 5:06 mark of the first quarter, then half a minute later Michaels sank a bucket in the paint for a 5-1 lead. Robinson closed out scoring in the first frame with a bucket as Woodland managed a 7-1 lead at the end of the first quarter.
The second period proved even lower scoring as the Lady Wildcats used a free throw each by Brooke Hummel and Robinson and a field goal by Hummel to go up 11-3 at the break.
Both teams scored just two points in the third period and Walker used a 5-0 run to claw its way to 13-10 just under two minutes into the final frame. The Lady Wildcats had the answer, though, and went on a 7-5 run to close out the game and claim the victory. Four of those points were the final four free throws taken by the Lady Wildcats, all hit by Solomon.
Michaels and Hummel both contributed 3 points to the cause of the Lady Wildcats, who were 4-of-19 in field goal attempts, 1-of-5 in 3-pointers and 7-of-17 at the charity stripe. Woodland was just 5-of-11 in the fourth quarter at the free throw line.
Roberts said Walker was a challenge for the Lady Wildcats. "Hats off to Walker. They played that 1-3-1 and it's something we need to work on. We're going to use that as a learning tool."
He said his team responded by playing with a lot of effort.
"You can criticize our girls for a lot of things, but I don't think you can criticize them for playing hard," he said. "They played hard defensively. We had a lot of positives and we had a lot of negatives. I just want the kids to look at the big picture and try to get better each day."
He said the Lady Wildcats used the deliberate style of offense in an attempt to improve their shot selection. "The shot selection is definitely something we need to concentrate on. We want them to shoot but we want them to take good shots."
He said some of the shots taken were good but simply didn't fall. "That happens sometimes."
He said the Lady Wildcats had a big chore in containing No. 15, Alyse Scott.
"She's a heck of a player. I thought Lyrica and Brooke Hummel did a good job on her."
He said he expects to see Walker's defensive approach again. "I think the 1-3-1 hurt us, and we're going to work on some spacing issues and hopefully get better. I expect we'll see someone else run that this season."
Woodland returns to the hardwoods on Tuesday, when it visits North Paulding. Tipoff is at 6 p.m.