CHARLESTON, W.Va. -- Locked in a see-saw battle with eighth-ranked George Washington on Wednesday night, veteran Huntington High School girls basketball Coach Lonnie Lucas was not sure he wanted to change his defense.
He tinkered with the idea a little in the waning minutes of the first half before deciding to come out of the Highlanders trademark two-three zone and start the second half in a man-to-man defense.
Lucas' move turned out to be just what Huntington needed as the sixth-ranked Highlanders (8-3) rallied from a one-point halftime deficit to defeat the host Patriots 69-50.
"We don't play everyone man," said Lucas, the only girls basketball coach the school has had since it opened as a consolidation of Huntington East and old Huntington High in 1996. "But we tried it a little the last two minutes before the half and did all right."
George Washington (5-3) took a 30-29 lead into halftime on 11-of-24 shooting that included 5-of-10 from 3-point range.
"The first two quarters were generally good," Patriots' Coach Jamie LaMaster said. "Especially in the first quarter we were getting good looks."
That all changed when the Highlanders changed defenses, as they scored the first 11 points of the third period.
George Washington did not score until Rachel Ward hit a bucket with 3 minutes remaining in the third quarter.
"We got outscored 16-5 in the third," said LaMaster, whose team was 2-for-11 in the third, both by Ward. "Every other quarter was manageable.