The Augusta Prep girls basketball team has the advantage of having four senior starters all averaging about the same number of points a game.
This allows any one of the starters to step up during a game.
This past Tuesday, it was Caroline Hull.
The senior played her best game of the season, falling three steals short of a triple-double. She scored a Lady Cavaliers season-high 18 points while pulling down 16 rebounds in a 48-44 win over Westminster. It was Prep's first region contest and the Lady Cavaliers played without starter Katelyn Gibbs.
"Caroline played a fantastic game," coach Moe McCormack said. "It took her a while to get back into shape because she had mono in the fall. She had 11 rebounds the other night. We're starting to expect this kind of game from her. It was big for her to step up when we didn't have Katelyn."
Prep pulled away in the third quarter with a 12-4 run after trailing by one at the half. The run came while sophomore center Mary Rob Plunkett sat out the quarter with four fouls. She scored 11 points in the game.
"That was real tough for us," Westminster coach Greg Wise said. "We got into a hole and couldn't do much without her. Our offense really runs through her."
The Lady Wildcats still had a chance to win after a 3-pointer by freshman Lauren Snyder made it a two-point game. But Monica Ploetzke and Abby Alexander made four free throws to put the game out of reach.
"I think we are starting to become the team we knew we could be," Hull said. "We went into this season expecting to have a big year and we can still achieve our goal."
The Lady Cavaliers have started the season 7-8 despite high expectations for a team loaded with experience.
"We started hot last season and then we tapered off at the end of the season," senior Mary Hannah Lynn said. "Sure, we wanted to start better this year, but we just hope we will have the opposite of last year."
Like the Lady Cavaliers, the Westminster boys also used free throws down the stretch to put away the Prep boys, 43-39.
Dustin Curry made two free throws with five seconds left to give the Wildcats the win.
The Cavaliers stormed back from a 10-point deficit with a minute to play, trailing by only two with 16 seconds to play.
"I'm extremely pleased with the fight we showed," said Prep coach Mike Guthrie. "We made a tremendous comeback."
Prep fouled Curry, but he missed the front end of a one-and-one. He then threw away a loose ball after Prep couldn't convert on the offensive end.
But he redeemed himself by stealing an in-bounds pass and sinking the free throws.
"I didn't want to let my team down," Curry said. "I messed up by missing the free throws and wanted to redeem myself."
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