Melissa Wright was on her way to a landmark achievement last week, but during the journey she had to overcome a personal roadblock.
The Augusta Christian Schools basketball player scored 14 points in the first half of a Tuesday home-game against Westminster School, but Wright spent halftime trying to shake off the thought of two shaky efforts from the free-throw line.
"I talked to coach (Jodie Price) during halftime, and I said, 'I need help, because I feel like I'm losing my confidence,"' Wright recalled before practice Wednesday.
"Coach just said to know that you have confidence, because you shoot free throws all the time and you make them. Just focus on that."
Wright took the advice to heart. In the second half, the senior guard was 4-for-5 from the line. She also went 6-for-8 from the field and finished with a career-high 30 points to lead the Lady Lions to a 66-28 win.
Throw in her 10 steals and 11 rebounds, and Wright finished the night with a triple-double - a rare feat at any level of the sport.
"I didn't realize I had that. I've never done that before," she said.
Wright had nine steals in the first half and swiped No. 10 midway through the third quarter.
"Melissa is just as good defensively as she is on offense," Price said. "She has real good hands and a good feel for taking it to the basket."
With the win well in hand, Price sent in the substitutes, and Wright went to the sideline at the start of the fourth quarter.
She went back in the game with two minutes remaining, where she recorded a put-back to reach the 30-point mark for the first time in her varsity career.
In the process, Wright also hauled in two rebounds to complete the triple-double. She also had two assists, a blocked shot and no fouls.
After Wright was done, Augusta Christian senior Lee Jones took over and put an exclamation point on an exciting evening.
Jones went on a rampage in the boys' game, scoring a career-high 39 points to pace the Lions to a thrilling 74-72 overtime win over Westminster, AC's Region 4-AAA rival.
Much like Wright, Jones was in a funk at halftime. He had scored only five points before the break, as the Westminster took a 33-19 lead.
Then Jones found the range, burying a barrage of 3-point shots and driving into traffic for key buckets. When the dust cleared, Jones had dusted the Wildcats for 20 points in the second half and 14 more in the overtime period.
"He was definitely in the zone," AC coach Andrew Bryan said of Jones. "He made two huge threes, and at that point he would just come down the court and he knew the ball was going in when he shot it."
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