Willis’ triple-double highlights Lady Eagles runaway

Published 12:00 am Monday, January 22, 2001

[01/22/01] E.J. Willis said she was nervous before Saturday’s game with Trinity, the only Academy-A team to beat Porters Chapel this year.

It sure didn’t show.

Willis, Warren County’s all-time leading scorer, rocked the Lady Saints (21-4) with a triple-double to lead PCA to a 72-39 thumping of the Natchez school.

The senior tied her career high with 43 points, she grabbed 10 rebounds and had 11 assists as the Lady Eagles avenged an overtime loss earlier this season.

“Last night I was really nervous because last time they beat us … and that’s when we had K.K.,” said E.J. Willis, who also had five steals. “I was thinking, what are we going to do?’ We came out so strong and we were all fired up.”

E.J. Willis again wore No. 14 as a tribute to her sister, K.K., who was lost for the season with an injured knee. K.K. played in the last meeting between the schools which saw the Lady Eagles fall in overtime after playing the second half without lights or a scoreboard.

The Lady Saints were little match on Saturday.

“We were not mentally or physically ready to play,” Trinity coach Melanie Hall said. “(Porters Chapel) has a very good team, though.”

Brady Willis chipped in 13 in the win, but it was E.J.’s hot shooting that sunk Trinity.

She connected on 7 of 10 3-point attempts, and was 17 of 26 from the floor. At one point in the third and fourth quarter, she hit 9 of 10 attempts.

“She was on fire,” first-year Lady Eagles’ coach Mitchell Willis said. “She took some good shots because she was always open. When she wasn’t open, she nailed those shots, too.”

Trinity, which was led by Sara Greer’s 16 points, played a 2-3 zone the entire game leaving E.J. Willis, or any other Lady Eagle, wide open from the outside.

“Their coach is a really good coach, I don’t know…” E.J. Willis said of the Lady Saints’ defensive scheme. “Last time they played a triangle-and-two on me and K.K.. I don’t know what kept them in a zone today.”

Porters Chapel led 13-5 at the end of the first quarter and increased the lead to 35-18 at the half.

The Lady Eagles went up by as many as 26, 60-34, in the second half and never looked back.

Jessica Lord and Kala White each snagged seven rebounds as PCA outrebounded the taller Lady Saints 39-35.

“They had a lot of height,” Mitchell Willis said. “We did a good job rebounding… This was a very big win for us.”

Porters Chapel will play Franklin Academy Tuesday night at 6 p.m.

(B) Trinity 76, PCA 47

Chris Ridley scored a game-high 29 points and Greg Ketchings added 20 as Trinity blew out Porters Chapel Saturday.

The Saints, after going into the second quarter tied at 15, used a 28-point second quarter to put the game out of reach.

Joseph Ivey scored a team-high 21 points and Trey White added 16 for the Eagles (2-19).

Porters Chapel cut the gap to 54-41 at the end of the third quarter, but managed just six points in the fourth, while Trinity scored 22 in the final quarter.