CHARLESTON, W.Va. -- Despite making just two field goals in the first half Monday night, Hurricane somehow only trailed host Capital by two points entering the third quarter.
While things didn't get better for the Redskins in the second half - they tallied just three more baskets - they improved dramatically for the Cougars, as Capital pulled away for a 62-26 victory in high school girls basketball action.
Capital (4-4) led 19-17 at halftime due to the fact the Cougars sent the Redskins to the foul line repeatedly. Hurricane (4-4) took full advantage, sinking 12 of 20 to stay in the game.
"We continued to put them on the line and they got right back in the game," Capital Coach B.J. Calabrese said. "We told them over and over to stop reaching but they continued to foul. We got really silly.
The Cougars only allowed a 2-of-4 showing at the charity stripe in the second half and held Hurricane to just 10-percent shooting from the floor throughout the game. The Redskins were 5-for-49.
"We challenged them at halftime," Calabrese said. "We finally realized that we have to step doing that. I'm really proud of the defensive effort. We only gave up nine points in the second half. They are very capable of playing defense like that."
Capital turned up the defensive intensity, forcing 14 second-half turnovers, up from just five in the first two quarters. Senior Khadijah Lee collected six of the Cougars' 11 steals.
Lee had a huge all-around game, scoring 14 points and adding a team-high 11 rebounds despite playing the guard position and being just 5-foot-5.
"Khadijah's defense, and overall hustle, has been outstanding," Calabrese said. "She is a non-stop bundle of energy and we need that. People feed off her. It's kind of contagious. She helps us get steals and layups."
Lee said the biggest difference between halves was Capital's mental approach to the contest.