LYMAN -- When Ameshya Williams is dialed in, she's pretty hard to stop. That was the case Tuesday, as the senior forward scored 36 of No. 2 West Harrison's points in a 45-31 victory at No. 3 Harrison Central.
She also recorded 22 rebounds, five steals and four blocks.
The Red Rebelettes (16-9) did a good job early of frustrating Williams by playing physical and mixing personnel.
"That was the game plan going in," HCHS coach Nancy Ladner said. "We knew that if we could get her stopped we had the game. We executed the game plan very well in the first half. We played physical with her and knew where she was."
As the game progressed, neither team could gain much of an advantage, trading baskets for the first 20 minutes.
Late in the third quarter, the Lady Hurricanes began pulling away.
Harrison Central's Chyna Allen tied the game 23-23 on a fast-break layup, but West Harrison (19-1) responded with a 15-3 run that bridged the final two frames. Of the 15 points, Williams accounted for 10, with Amari Graves scoring five points.
Harrison Central only scored two more times the rest of the game, allowing West Harrison to extend its lead and close out the game on a 5-0 run - all Williams free throws.
Gates credited his team's defense for forcing a lot of one-and-done possessions by HCHS.
"We rebounded a lot better late. We feel like our strength is our defense," he said. "You have 6-2 in the lane so you can move out and guard a little better because when they drive, that's what they meet up with."
Ladner felt her team's drive dwindled the later the game got, which also played a fac
tor in the short -- and scoreless -- possessions.
"We just didn't seem to want it in the second half," she said. "We didn't do what we did in the first half. If you don't execute it just doesn't work. I didn't feel like they wanted it as bad in the second half."
If Williams has an Achilles heel, it has been free throws -- but not Tuesday. Williams made the most of her freebies, converting 14 of 19 attempts.
"What they were doing wasn't quite 'hack-a-Shaq' but they made her earn them from the line,'" Gates said. "There's been a big emphasis on free throw shooting. That was kind of our nemesis in the state tournament."
Adyn Strickland ended up leading HCHS with nine points. Chyna Allen was second on the team with six points.